At the Big Wide World blog, Charlie Ball advises students to "think twice" about getting a master's degree. The argument that a student needs a master's degree to find a good job sounds logical, but Ball is skeptical, saying his master's didn't help him find a job in the last recession and he's not sure job prospects have gotten any better. In the 2008-2009 Destination of Leavers of Higher Education Survey conducted in the UK, the data shows that even in the worst employment market in almost two decades, the majority of students were able to find jobs just six months after graduation without having a master's degree, Ball says. In the case of science, the survey found that unemployment rates for students who went on to get a master's degree were the same as those with a bachelor's degree. "So it seems the BSc biologists were perfectly capable of getting a job without a master's," Ball says. "Most master's graduates find themselves competing in the same labor market as BSc graduates. And those graduates find that just having a master's doesn't magically make you more employable. It's what the graduate does with the time spent doing a master's that is just as important as the qualification itself." That's not to say that a master's can't be valuable, but it probably won't help you get a job, he adds.
Jun 10, 2011