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Why Earn a Master’s Degree?

A degree may open the door to a variety of opportunities and diverse career paths. The degree programs offered at CTU will not necessarily lead to the featured careers. This collection of articles is intended to help inform and guide you through the process of determining which level of degree and types of certifications align with your desired career path.

5 Potential Benefits to Consider

After completing their associate or bachelor’s degree program, many people decide not to return to the classroom. However, an increasing number are opting to pursue a graduate school education after completing an undergraduate degree. Indeed, the number of people 25 years of age and over whose highest degree is a master’s doubled between 2000 and 2018.1

But just because more people are choosing to pursue graduate-level studies doesn’t mean it’s the right move for you. People pursue higher education for all sorts of reasons, and not all of those reasons will be right for everyone. That’s why it’s important to weigh the advantages and potential disadvantages that come with pursuing a master’s program before making a decision. So ask yourself—when you take factors like cost and time commitment into consideration, are the potential benefits of a master’s degree program worth your investment?

Below we’ve outlined some potential benefits of a master’s degree education to take into account as you make your decision.

  1. A Master’s Degree Signals In-depth Knowledge in Your Field.

    A master’s degree program curriculum is typically designed with a focus on a chosen field. Compared to undergraduate programs which contain a number of general education requirements, the courses in a typical master’s degree program tend to be more directly tied to the field you’re studying. Master’s degree programs also tend to require a capstone course or research project that provides an opportunity to synthesize and utilize the specialized knowledge gained during your master’s program studies.

  2. A Master’s Degree May Increase Professional Opportunities.

    In some fields, a master’s degree may be required for entry-level positions or advancement. In other fields, candidates with a master’s degree may be preferred by certain employers. In both cases, a master’s degree education could help you become qualified for more positions. Here are just a few examples of career paths in which a master’s may be preferred, though not necessarily required:

    • Management Analyst2
    • Accountant or Auditor3
    • Computer Network Architect4
    • Information Security Analyst5
    • Computer and Information Systems Manager6

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has created an Occupation Finder where you can check and see which occupations typically require a master’s degree (or any other type of degree, for that matter) for entry.

  3. A Master’s Degree Could Lead to a Salary Increase.

    Perhaps you’re considering graduate school because you’ve heard about the potential increased salary that could come with master’s degree attainment. But is the average salary with a master’s degree actually higher compared to associate and bachelor’s degrees? According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher educational attainment does lead to higher median weekly earnings—in 2021, the median usual weekly earnings for bachelor’s degree holders was $1,334 versus $1,574 for master’s degree holders.7

  4. A Master’s Program Could Enhance Your Professional Network.

    Pursuing a master’s degree program has the potential to result in new networking opportunities. Whether you’re studying in hopes of advancing in your current field or moving into a new one, you’re likely to meet and engage with like-minded peers and professionals in your graduate school program. These relationships could lead to an expanding network you can tap into for advice.

  5. A Master’s Degree Could Bolster Your Reputation and Credibility.

    The specialized knowledge you study, the skills you practice and work to develop through coursework and research and the networking opportunities you’re awarded as you pursue your master’s degree could all help to increase your credibility in the eyes of potential employers and may improve your reputation with your current employer and colleagues. And because master’s programs involve a significant time commitment, a graduate school education can demonstrate that you are a motivated individual who is dedicated to their chosen field.

Thinking About Earning Your Master’s Degree?

As we’ve just seen, there are a number of benefits to earning a master’s degree. But there are also some potential costs involved—financial, personal and even professional ones.

Colorado Technical University’s degree programs are designed to provide flexibility and convenience so that you can pursue your academic goals without putting your current work and personal obligations on hold. We offer both on-campus and online master’s degree programs — giving you the option to choose the attendance format that works best for you and your busy life. As you explore our graduate-level offerings, you should check out our FAQs about financial aid familiarize yourself with the application process for master’s degree programs. Or if you’re ready to make your next move, you can apply now.

1 U.S. Census Bureau, “Number of People with Master’s and Doctoral Degrees Doubles Since 2000” (4/21/2019),
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Management Analysts,” (visited 4/21/23).
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Accountants and Auditors,” (visited 4/21/23).
4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Computer Network Architects,” (visited 4/21/23).
5 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Information Security Analysts,” (visited 4/21/23).
6 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, “Computer and Information Systems Manager,” (visited 4/21/23).
7 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment 2021” (updated 9/8/2022), This data represents national figures and is not based on school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

CTU cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. Not all programs are available to residents of all states. Programs vary by location. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. REQ1929388 4/21/2023

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