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Bachelor’s degree: Is it the new high school diploma?

Photo Illustration: Kayla Stroud/THE SPECTATOR

Written by Tatyana Phelps, Managing Editor

The bachelor’s degree has become the new high school diploma. It is the new base line standard degree that someone has to obtain to qualify to enter the work force. This gives students the conception that they can’t just stop after obtaining their undergrad degree.

This belief tends to belittle a bachelor’s degree and even make students feel as though the hard work they’ve done over the course of four (or more) years has gotten them nowhere.

People usually further their education after their undergraduate studies for a few different reasons. First, of course, a master’s degree usually results in a higher paycheck. Second, certain jobs may actually require a master’s or a doctorate degree. Third, a graduate degree offers more jobs opportunities. Lastly, someone may want to expand his or her knowledge on a subject they studied in undergrad or in a new area altogether if he or she wishes to change careers.

However, although a graduate degree will more than likely ensure a higher salary and looks good on paper, it doesn’t always mean someone will have a better job or even get their dream job.

“A lot of people go after a degree and think there will be magic in it,” said Norm Meshiry, master career counselor and owner of Career Insights, in a Monster article.

Some people tend to associate a graduate degree with someone being more qualified for a job or even with having more experience. However, experience comes from work and internships, not a degree.

“Master’s degrees in general are not enough to move the needle for anyone charting a new path in life,” said Rosemary Guzman Hook, certified career coach and executive recruiter at Hook The Talent, Inc., told U.S. News Money. “There must be experience, practicums, internships or something that demonstrates the individual has more than just theoretical knowledge.”

Hook adds that once a person has experience, a master’s degree can open more doors than a bachelor’s degree would.

However, the career world is changing and even some entry level jobs are starting to require more than a bachelor’s degree, depending on the career field.

“Many entry level jobs today now require a master’s and virtually all senior managements and senior professional positions require a master’s,” said Brian Kelley, chief information officer at Portage County Information Technology Services, in a U.S. News Money article.

Although a master’s degree is highly valued, some jobs are only looking for a bachelor’s degree, along with a bit of experience.

However, this still does not answer the question, “Is it absolutely necessary to go to graduate school?”

Of course, people who aspire to be doctors, dentists, professors, and some other careers are required to get at least a master’s degree, and sometimes even a doctorate degree.

When it all comes down to it, the truth is, it is not always necessary to go to graduate school. The decision to go to graduate school depends on each individual’s choice of career path.

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