Getting close to graduating your Bachelor's, or you already graduated it? What next? I assume we can agree on the importance of a Master’s degree (specialising on a subject that interests you, cultural exposure, all that jazz).
So, let’s talk timing: Should you study a Master's right after graduating from your Bachelor’s? Or should you wait a few years and then go be a student again?
There is no perfect answer to this question, so I made 2 lists: one with reasons to study a Master's degree right after your Bachelor's, and one with reasons to wait and study a Master's after a few years.
3 reasons to study a Master’s right after graduating your Bachelor’s
You’re younger and have more energy
I think this is the most important reason for an early Master’s degree. There are many people who delay their Master’s so they can start working, get a salary, get an apartment, get a family and so on until the delay becomes infinite.
After graduation, you'll find the energy and motivation more easily. You will still be used to going to class, do homework and study for exams, without the constant nag, at the back of your mind, that you have other things to do and should juggle with a thousand things at a time.
It will help you better define your goals and targets
Most of us decided on our Bachelor’s when we were young, wild, and free, so there’s no wonder some switch degrees during their studies.
Students don’t usually concern themselves with jobs and careers in the first years of a Bachelor’s, so the shock that they don’t really enjoy their jobs or the direction their careers are going may come like a bucket of cold water thrown over them.
Choosing a Master’s degree will help you acquire an overview of the subject you chose, the field you’re in, your personality and character, and will better outline your purposes, goals and aspirations.
You can study and grow with your own generation
There’s no denying there’s a huge generational gap, even between First Years and Second Years, but think of the chasm that would arise between you and those pesky kids that won’t get off your lawn, in a few years.
Studies show that the younger the generation, the smarter it is, so everything will get harder as time flies: from understanding and impressing a teacher for your practical seminars, to even acquiring a scholarship for your field.
Also, going to a Master’s at an earlier and more inexperienced phase in your life can mean you will be allowed to shadow teachers or speakers, and you will get an inside view of your chosen industry and manage to Slytherin more easily. I’m done with the Harry Potter references, promise.
4 reasons to study a Master’s later in life
You will have more experience than the rest
The greatest advantage of a later Master’s degree is that you already have work experience and you have a clearer path and idea of what you want than those damn kids, who always listen to their music way too loud.
Classes will be easier for you to understand, with so much practical training backing you up. You can also get more out of the same classes that would have meant nothing just a few years prior.
You will know what you are looking for
A Master’s degree means you want to specialise in something. Knowing what you want, you will be capable of combing through the curriculum and choose useful classes, not just fun-named ones and the ones that get you the easiest A (or 10, or 6, or 1, depending on each grading system).
The easiest way to change careers
Let’s assume you have a job and you want to study a Master’s. You can easily take a break for your Master’s degree and then decide if your former job was really what you wanted or if it would be better to change your career path, based on everything you learned.
Even better still is to discover your job was already awesome, and you will return with more knowledge and better ways of implementing everything you studied.
You'll have the money to fund your studies
This may be self-explanatory, but following a Master’s degree later will mean you can pay the fees yourself and not call and ask for an allowance from your parents. There are tricks for you to pay a lower tuition fee in the EU, but Europe may not be your choice destination. You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.
Depending on how much you’ve saved, you can go wild and have your own independent student experience, without worrying you are a burden or that you should live on instant food, or else your electricity could be cut.
Study a Master's degree, no matter when!
All in all, the timing of your Master is a very personal decision, and only you know when you’re ready or if you’re in the mood to go back to school. I can’t give you any advice (out of fear of getting sued), just this: Think carefully before you decide and good luck during your Master’s!
Thinking of doing your second Bachelor's or haven't started one, yet? Check out international Bachelors worldwide.