Continue to study

A mother wrote to me: “My son is graduating this year with a Bachelor degree but he insists to stay in school to study for the Master degree. My husband believes the higher the degree the better, but I do not know with a higher degree he could get a better job or not? Please advise.”

Answer: Since I do not know what field of study he is in, I could not be specific. The view that higher degree is better is NOT always correct. Even there are some careers that require an advanced degree but today most entry-level jobs do not require an advanced degree. A difference between a Bachelor and a Master degree is in the area of specialization. Graduates with a Bachelor degree are mostly generalists where they can be trained to do anything when graduates with a Master degree are specialists who have skills in a particular area. Most companies prefer to hire graduates with a Bachelor degree rather than a Master unless they need that special skills. Of course, if your son wants to be a professor to teach in college, he will need to have a Ph.D. degree.

As a mother, you could discuss with your son on his reason to stay in school by asking the following questions: “Are you looking for a career that requires an advanced degree such as Master or Ph.D.? Are you wanting to continue to study because you do not know what else to do? Do you want to stay in school because you are afraid that you could not get a job? Or are you having a personal reason to stay in school because you have a friend who is still in school?


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University

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