The Importance of Obtaining Your Master’s Degree Early in Your Career

Jessica Shaffer
Jessica Shaffer
5th Grade Teacher; MA in Administration & Leadership, Georgian Court University, NJ
Young woman sitting at a computer looking at a master’s degree.

Obtaining a master’s degree early in your career is important for a number of different reasons. You’ll gain several skills while earning your degree. Along with learning how to master time management, you also gain a deeper knowledge of education and how the system works. A master’s degree can provide you with many other career opportunities, as well as an increase in salary. Teachers teach their students how to be lifelong learners, and what better way to show them than by modeling it.

Career Opportunities Available with a Master’s Degree

There are many different career opportunities available with a master’s degree. You can complete a degree that will help you make a vertical move in your career, such as a degree in administration and leadership, which would give you the ability to take a leadership role within a school or district. You could complete a degree to become a Learning Consultant (LDTC) whose responsibilities include ensuring that the special education population’s needs are met. Another option is to become a guidance counselor. You can service students in a different way by counseling them about personal and education matters, and at a high school level, helping to apply to colleges and make decisions about life after high school.

There are many other master’s degrees you can earn without making a vertical move. You can become a reading specialist or earn a master’s in special education. Reading specialists specialize in reading education, while working in the special education department can allow you to grow professionally while servicing a population of students which contains many of the learners that struggle most. Many other options are out there depending on the college/university that you attend; you just have to pick the career that sounds most rewarding and beneficial to you on a personal level.

When deciding on a new career, you must determine your true motivation. Do you teach because you love making a difference and instilling the love of learning, you enjoy taking on leadership roles, or simply you enjoy studying curriculum and data? How you answer that question can determine the job path you choose to pursue with your master’s degree.

Benefits of a Master’s Degree in the Classroom

When you obtain a master’s degree, you broaden your perspective on teaching and education in general. When you earn this degree, you meet others on your journey, and they are able to give you different vantage points of situations that arise in their districts and schools. Graduate school gives you a better understanding of things on a global level and helps you better understand the reasoning behind school and district decisions. Graduate school additionally helps you to network with others in education which could potentially lead to job offers in the future.

In graduate school you’ll cover a myriad of topics, including school laws, state and district mandates, teacher and administrator evaluations, curriculum requirements, and collecting and analyzing data, all of which will help you every day in your classroom. You will also be able to share this knowledge with colleagues and collaborate in different ways to strengthen your classroom, your school, and even the district.

Other Advantages of Obtaining a Master’s Degree Early

On a personal level, earning a master’s degree early can increase your salary in the short-term, your pension long-term, and can give you an overall increase in earning potential. Who doesn’t want to make more money?

When you earn your master’s degree, it gives you an opportunity for career advancement. Completing your degree early allows you to focus on your career and becoming an expert in that area versus having to split time between career and graduate school. Graduate school is time consuming, and it does take some focus away from other areas of your life while you are attending.

Having a master’s degree is notable, as not many obtain one. You are more highly regarded by others, and it increases your credibility. Those with master’s degrees are often considered experts or masters in their field and can share their knowledge and skill sets with others. As Napoleon Hill said, “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” As earning a master’s degree challenges you and requires continuous effort, the growth in your knowledge and confidence will be returned tenfold and passed on to not only your colleagues, but to your students and their achievements.

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