Does your master's degree matter in today's unconventional, social media-driven job market?
For graduates looking for greater employment opportunities, advancement, higher earnings and personal growth, absolutely.
"For those top-tier positions coupled with experience, a master's degree definitely doesn't hurt," said April Griffin, director of operations at EventSphere. "But in the hospitality industry, experience does carry a lot more weight."
EventSphere is a customizable hospitality company specializing in event management, logistics and marketing. Griffin manages all event staff and hires and trains them.
"Having a master's degree in this line of work is a bonus for our executive management areas — the business end of the company," she said. "It's certainly not crucial, though. Job hunters with master's degrees should also keep in mind to apply for positions relevant to the job. A master's degree in art isn't as useful to our industry as a master's in hospitality management."
In educational-related career paths, this advance degree can open doors for mid- to senior-level appointments.
"We now live in a social media- and technology-focused workforce that does not necessarily require advanced education," said Skye Duckett, deputy chief human resources officer at Atlanta Public Schools. "But we do still have traditional jobs that require a master's degree to become an eligible candidate. For instance, principals have to have a master's degree."
Duckett is responsible for hiring the best teachers and staff at APS.
"We place value on continuing education," she said. "Along with advanced degrees like a master's or doctorate, we also consider a candidate's overall experience and any certifications they may have earned as well."
However, earning a master's degree can become costly.
Duckett offered this advice to employees not sure if an extra diploma is worth the investment in the corporate ladder long run:
"Do research," she said. "Determine how relevant a master's degree is to your current job and career goals. It's worth the time and effort for those wanting deeper knowledge about a specific area, future leadership roles and to move up in their field of study."