Maybe you have been in the same job for many years and are ready to assume more responsibility. Perhaps you are a veteran professional with over a decade of work experience and looking for your next big job in a new field. How do you get there or get started?

You might consider returning to graduate school. A graduate degree is a great way to improve your career. It can help you get promoted, increase your salary, or expand your professional network. It would be best if you pursued an advanced degree, regardless of your personal needs; these are seven career-focused reasons.

“I Want to Switch Industries”

An advanced degree allows you to switch careers. It will help you gain knowledge and skills in a new field. You can gain practical experience through some graduate programs like Northeastern’s. These include short-term projects, co-op, research, and in-class case studies. Employers will see that you have the transferable abilities to succeed on the job by having this hands-on experience.

“I want to increase my salary”

According to Georgetown, bachelor’s degree holders earn $2.27million over their careers, while master’s degrees holders can earn up to $2.7million–a significant increase. An advanced degree can double your salary depending on what industry you choose. Keep in mind; certain fields offer higher payoffs than others.

“I Want a Promotion”

A graduate degree can help you achieve the leadership skills needed to climb the corporate ladder. Some industries require advanced degrees to move into leadership or management positions. Some fields require that employees hold a master’s degree before working in a particular role, such as a lawyer or doctor.

An advanced degree is the best option for those working in the field and who wish to leave their current job. A master’s degree in non-profit management or public administration could be the next step if you are interested in becoming an executive director.

“I want to specialize in a particular field”

A graduate degree allows you to focus on a specific area of study and prove to employers that your skills and competencies are necessary to bring value to an organization.

For instance, a project manager specializing in portfolio management–analyzing the overall scope of a company’s objectives–may want to earn a master’s degree in project portfolio management.

Employers agree that specialization in your field can bring significant value to your job. A Gallup survey found that 84 per cent of employers value the candidate’s knowledge in a particular field. Seventy-nine per cent said they are most interested in candidates with transferable skills.

“I Want More Job Opportunities”

Graduate degrees offer more opportunities to succeed in your career and learn new skills that will help you remain competitive in the workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the unemployment rate for those who have a master’s or higher degree is 12.5 per cent less than those with only a Bachelor’s.

You can also advance your career by choosing where you study. You can earn a degree in information technology if you are interested in working. Seattle is a great place to study. Charlotte is a hub for banking and healthcare.

You’ll have more opportunities to find work if you have a degree. Silicon Valley has more than twice the number of graduates as the rest of the U.S.

“I Want to Build My Network”

It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, and it is important to have a wide network.

An advanced degree will help you expand your professional network by meeting people from diverse backgrounds and industries. You’ll also be able to study with professors that have industry experience.

Your network is stronger and more likely to help you advance your career.

“I Want To Be In-Demand”

A master’s degree will give you an edge whether you are applying for new jobs or looking to improve your existing organization. You can go back to graduate school to gain the skills and knowledge to be different.

A recent survey found that 33% of employers are now hiring master’s-level employees to fill positions previously held by people with a bachelor’s. Employers are seeking candidates who can adapt to the changing workforce.

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