When to Pursue a Master’s Degree: A Comprehensive Guide for Your Career Growth

Deepti Sharma

Last Updated: October 23, 2023
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In India, choosing when to pursue a Master’s degree is like picking the right path in a maze. Having said that, this decision can actually be a game-changer for your career growth. Let’s dive into an in-depth discussion on when to choose to pursue your Master’s degree and provide insights and examples to help you make this vital decision.

masters degree

The Significance of a Master’s Degree

A Master’s degree can actually move the needle at the right time in your career, provided you are aware of all the related aspects. According to a study, a postgraduate degree has helped professionals get better pay scales and navigate their careers in the right direction. Even employers feel that professionals often have better employability after pursuing advanced degrees as they delve deep into the subject, gaining expertise that sets them apart. 

But it’s not just about book smarts. A Master’s hones your teamwork and individual work skills. You learn to thrive in group projects while excelling in solo submissions. In the professional world, both are equally crucial.

Another critical skill you acquire is time management. Those deadlines won’t budge, and you learn to dance with time, meeting expectations consistently. Your ability to work efficiently becomes a valuable asset.

Then there’s communication, both written and spoken. You become an eloquent storyteller, articulating ideas with clarity and conviction. Your reports and presentations become powerful tools in your arsenal.

Also, to maximise the benefits of your postgraduate study, engage with your department. Masters is more about self-directed study, but don’t become a lone wolf. Attend research seminars and workshops; participate in discussions. You can also attend academic conferences, where you’ll network with fellow students and established scholars. It’s a chance to dive deep into your subject and explore potential academic careers. Even if you’re eyeing non-academic paths, these experiences enhance your CV, showcasing your eagerness to embrace challenges.

Now, you might be wondering, will all this effort pay off? The good news is, yes. A Master’s degree significantly boosts your employability and earning potential. Employers recognise the value of this advanced education and are eager to harness your skills.

pursuing a masters degree

When Should You Consider a Master’s Degree?

This is a question that many students and professionals have in their minds as to when is the right time to take this crucial decision. It’s vital that you make an informed decision after talking to a career mentor, or if that isn’t possible, then at least bear these following points in mind.

Early-Career Advancement

The early stages of a career hold immense potential. For many fresh graduates, the decision to pursue a Master’s degree right after completing a bachelor’s program can be a game-changing move. This approach is particularly impactful in fields like management, where prestigious institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) offer highly regarded programs. Essentially, it’s an investment in your future, a fast-track move to leadership, and a compelling launchpad for a successful career journey.

Mid-Career Transformation

Mid-career professionals find themselves at a crossroads, seeking opportunities to refresh their career landscape. Higher education, such as pursuing a Master’s, becomes a beacon of hope in this scenario. Consider an experienced IT professional who embarks on this journey of doing her Master’s in Data Science. She ensures her relevance in the swiftly evolving tech world by acquiring fresh skills and knowledge. Armed with her Master’s, she can pivot smoothly into high-demand roles, opening doors to exciting and lucrative prospects. This transformation represents a strategic step towards career longevity and adaptability in a dynamic job market.

The Path to Expertise

Certain industries, like healthcare, demand expertise only attainable through specialised Master’s programs. Take the example of a dedicated general practitioner who aspires to provide comprehensive care to ever-growing heart patients in India. Pursuing an MD in Cardiology serves as the gateway to this specialisation. It not only enriches his medical knowledge but also expands his practice, allowing him to cater to the unique needs of his patients. This also helps in making his ROI manifold.

Research and Academia

For those harbouring aspirations of becoming academicians, a Master’s degree serves as a sturdy stepping stone. Consider renowned institutions like the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in India, offering robust Master’s programs that help you build a strong foundation for future academic pursuits. These programs are more than just degrees; they are an initiation into the world of research and teaching. Aspiring educators and researchers, armed with their Master’s, venture forth into the field of academia, where they contribute to knowledge, shape minds, and inspire the next generation of thinkers

Now that we know how a Master’s degree can propel your career, let’s also go through some of the pros and cons of pursuing a postgraduate degree. 


Skill Enhancement: Master’s programs typically offer in-depth knowledge and skill development that can set you apart in the job market.

Networking Opportunities: These programs provide an excellent platform to connect with industry experts and peers who share your passion.

Career Advancement: A higher qualification often leads to better job opportunities and increased earning potential.


Financial Investment: Pursuing a Master’s degree can be financially taxing. Scholarships and part-time work can mitigate the cost, but it’s essential to consider the financial burden.

Time Commitment: Most Master’s programs span two years, and juggling work and academics can be demanding.

Overqualification: In some cases, an advanced degree may not guarantee immediate career advancement, and you may find yourself overqualified for your current job.

deciding on masters

Factors to Consider When Deciding on a Postgraduate Degree

Some of the crucial factors to keep in mind while considering the relevance of doing a master’s degree are:

Industry Relevance: It’s vital to evaluate whether your chosen field values a Master’s degree. For instance, sectors like finance and consulting often prioritise advanced qualifications.

Return on Investment (ROI): Weigh the cost of the program against potential earnings post-graduation. According to the same survey mentioned above, In some fields, Master’s graduates enjoy as much as a 120% increase in income, making it a sound financial investment. Do some research at your end for your industry and then take this decision.

Institution Reputation: The reputation of the university or college offering the program can influence your employability. Esteemed colleges like the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian School of Business (ISB) are highly regarded for their postgraduate degrees.

Work Experience: In some cases, having prior work experience can be an asset when applying for a Master’s program, as it demonstrates your commitment to the field.

Market Research: Conduct in-depth research on the specific program, curriculum, and faculty. Reach out to alumni for insights into the program’s effectiveness.

The decision to pursue a Master’s degree in the Indian context is multifaceted. It should be grounded in your career goals, the industry’s demands, and your financial situation. 

Grow With Mentoria!

Ultimately, it’s about seizing the right opportunity at the right time. In a dynamic job market like India’s, staying relevant and competitive is often based on continuous learning. Whether you’re a fresh graduate aiming to jumpstart your career or a mid-career professional seeking a transformation, assess your goals, weigh your options, and then start your journey of upskilling yourself to craft a well-thought-of career growth. 

In case you need any help figuring out when to pursue your postgraduate degree and in which field, reach out to Mentoria, and our well-trained and seasoned mentors will help you solve this puzzle. So don’t procrastinate, and contact us today!

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