5 Ways a Master’s Degree Can Help You Get Ahead July 27, 2016 [post_views] views | Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin In today’s competitive job market, specialized knowledge and skills are at a premium—the more you know and the more you can do, the more attractive you are to an employer. You’ve already invested in a bachelor’s degree, committing time and money. Perhaps now you’d like to build on that knowledge and specialize in a related field. Or maybe you want a credential that can take your career to the next level. There are several reasons why you might want to return to school for a master’s degree. Here are five ways a master’s degree could benefit your career. You Can Specialize Your Knowledge A master’s degree will allow you to develop expertise in a specific field that isn’t available at the undergraduate level. Take a field like regulatory affairs, where you’d start out with a degree in pharmacy or natural science. You could elevate your learning by understanding how laws and product safety play into the marketplace. You Can Expand Your Knowledge Maybe you got a degree in programming or design. With a master’s degree, you can then focus on competencies like project management or leadership. A master’s degree program is a great way to develop skills that complement the expertise you already have, or open up new job possibilities. You’ll Demonstrate You Can Tackle Complex Problems Holding a master’s degree doesn’t just show—it proves—you can move beyond technical knowledge and solve more complex problems, projects, research, synthesis, and analysis. It shows your current or prospective employer that you’re committed to developing higher level skills and competencies. You Can Grow Your Professional Network Networking is crucial when you’re a graduate student, and for good reason: You are now exposed to a network of peers who are successful in their field, and learning from professors with relevant industry experience. At Northeastern, students also gain access to more than 3,000 employer partners and 230,000-plus alumni, leading to contacts that can help them conquer every stage of their career. You Could See an Economic Payoff Advanced degree holders earn a salary an average 35 percent higher than bachelor’s degree holders, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. After sacrificing time and money to earn your degree, this might be music to your ears. Just know some fields will have a higher payoff than others. Make sure you carefully consider your future earning potential when calculating your return on investment.