6 reasons a master's degree is good for your career

A business professional at work

If you’ve ever travelled to see ancient ruins, the phrase “the only constant in life is change” might resonate with you. In recent years, most of us have had to adjust to significant changes in how we work. And these changes will only keep on coming. 

Recent modelling by McKinsey & Company predicts that “up to 30-40 per cent of all workers in developed countries may need to move into new occupations or at least upgrade their skill sets significantly” by 2030

In the face of accelerated change and technological disruptions, it’s increasingly critical for all of us to stay relevant and skilled for the future of work. That’s why now might be the perfect time to upskill with a master's degree. 

As well as increasing your salary and full-time employment prospects, a postgraduate master's degree could also provide the skills and networks you need to future-proof your career. 

Let’s further explore how getting a master's degree could be good for your career.

What outcomes does studying for a master's degree lead to? 

Along with pay rises and full-time work opportunities, recent RMIT Online students have found that a master's degree really helps with:

Pursuing a postgraduate master's qualification could do the same for you. 

In fact, here are six reasons why having a master's degree (over and above a graduate certificate or diploma) is absolutely worth it. 

Equipping yourself with the most relevant skills you need now 

Australians need to constantly upskill to ensure that they have the right skills at the right time to thrive in their careers. The results of a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey, one of the largest surveys of workers across the globe (including Australian employees), support this idea. 

For example, in February 2021, 39 per cent of the workers PwC surveyed said they thought it was likely that, “their job will be obsolete within five years.” What’s more, 77 per cent said they were ready to learn new skills or completely retrain.

A significant benefit of a master's degree is that it equips you with the most relevant skills you need right now. Plus the study of those skills isn’t just theoretical as it often is with graduate certificates or diplomas. With RMIT’s master's degrees, you get the chance to test those skills in a hands-on technical way. 

According to the same PwC survey, “​​46 per cent of people with postgraduate degrees say their employers give them opportunities to improve their digital skills.” Meanwhile, just 28 per cent of people with school-leaver qualifications say the same.

Leading in progressive, emerging sectors in the future of work

According to a 2021 report by the Australian Government’s National Skills Commission, “data and digital skills are the fastest-growing emerging skills” that Australian employers are seeking. What’s particularly critical is that employers need these skills across a wide range of industries, all the way from IT to early education providers. 

In a data-driven world, a postgraduate qualification like our Master of Data Science Strategy & Leadership gives you the skills that you need to lead in emerging sectors like these. In the future, leaders who can blend technical and communication skills to advocate for data at the executive level are likely to be highly sought after. 

Another option if you want to become a C-suite executive is to enrol in the RMIT Online MBA. It’s designed to help you develop future-focused leadership capabilities by leveraging the university’s strengths in technology, innovation and design. The master's networking opportunities also arm you with solid skills that are hard to come by in other online postgraduate programs. 

Wondering if an MBA is worth it? As we saw above, future-oriented technology and innovation skills are now a must-have in an age of digital disruption and rapid change.

A group of four mature students sitting at a table talking if it is worth doing a masters degree.

Learning future-focused content and courses

Why choose RMIT Online for your postgraduate qualification? Because being an RMIT Online postgraduate master's student means you can enjoy several benefits:

  • You have access to a rich portfolio of future-of-work courses co-designed and delivered by industry experts.
  • You can stack your learning by adding to your graduate certificate or diploma study where you’re also able to seek credit transfer (12 credit points) within specified degrees. 
  • You won’t need to complete formalised on-campus exams. Instead, all of our postgraduate programs include rigorous assessments in the form of case studies, reports, online discussion, interaction and engagement. This ensures that all learning is valuable, and you can apply it to your work immediately.
  • You’ll earn your master's degree at an institution with a growing reputation for excellence worldwide

For example, our globally recognised online MBA degree teaches you future-focused leadership capabilities while helping you to get ahead while continuing to work. 

How? With us, you can study six courses in a year and complete your MBA in two and a half years, even while you work. That’s around one and a half years faster than the equivalent part-time program on-campus. What’s more, credits from your graduate certificate or diploma could help shave off even more time. 

Experiencing tangible job benefits

Deciding to complete a postgraduate master's degree is a big decision. You might be wondering whether it’s worth doing a master's degree? Or perhaps even wondering if a master's degree can hurt your career?

Well, according to the 2021 Graduate Outcomes Survey results, postgraduate master's study offers tangible job benefits that go beyond those you’d get from an undergraduate degree qualification alone. For example, the survey findings state that postgraduate coursework graduates:

So it would seem that you do get paid more on a master's degree salary than you would if you stopped studying after completing your undergraduate degree, graduate certificate or diploma. 

A man in a brown jacket sitting down at a computer shaking hands with another who's standing up, thinking a masters degree really helps with expanding his network.

Establishing valuable networks

The benefits of completing a master's degree extend well beyond the curriculum. The connections you make during your study will help you to build valuable professional networks.  

For RMIT Online graduate Zofia Deschepper, growing professional networks was an essential part of her Master of Marketing degree. “I feel that building upon professional networks through study is really important,” she says. 

“Through RMIT Online, I’ve been able to meet people across many different geographies. Everyone is there for a reason, and they’re very passionate about the coursework or the subject matter. That has led to some really great, robust conversations.”

And studying online doesn’t prevent you from building these professional networks. When you enrol in an RMIT Online program, you join a vibrant professional community that learns and collaborates freely using the latest online social learning tools.

You can also complement your online learning with face-to-face industry networking sessions and student-driven meetups. Or, if personal choice or circumstances mean you need to do it all online, we’ll make on-ground activities available virtually.

Successfully navigating the future of work

Embracing lifelong learning is critical to successfully navigating the future of work. In collaboration with Deloitte Access Economics, we recently surveyed 600 Australian businesses to explore their perceptions of the value in lifelong learning. 

A key finding from the study is that almost half of Australian employers hire new employees to fill skills gaps instead of investing in upskilling their existing workforce. 

That’s why upskilling with a master's degree can help you evolve and thrive, whatever the future holds. 

Embrace change and upskill for the future

Completing your master's degree with RMIT Online means advancing your career while upskilling yourself for the future of work.

If you’re already enrolled with us and want to discuss your options, please speak with your Student Success Advisor

Or, to enquire about becoming a student, please speak with one of our Enrolment Advisors, on 1300 701 171.