While a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering may not be mandatory for employment in the field, it can certainly boost one’s opportunity to explore career options. There are advantages to pursuing a master’s degree that could make it well worth the time, academic effort and financial investment. Here are five reasons to pursue a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering.
Advancement of Technical Knowledge
An undergraduate degree may advance your technical knowledge only so far. A master’s degree can provide considerably more opportunities to pursue a specific field of interest. For example, if your goal is to become a structural engineer, courses offered at the undergraduate level may not be enough for you to advance in this area. A Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering, with a focus on structural engineering, could be the catalyst to help you qualify for advancement in your field.
Gain an Edge on the Competition
Another good reason to purse your master’s is that it can give you a definite edge over others with only a bachelor’s degree, considering that all other qualifications are equal. It may be that once hired in a new position you will be given more challenging tasks compared to those without an advanced degree. Employers may assume that you already have adequate training and skills that you can easily build on. Proof that you can handle difficult tasks early on may lead to quicker advancements and promotions.
Opportunities for Higher Pay
A master’s degree in civil engineering can be beneficial if your goal is to receive higher pay. Generally speaking, those with a master’s degree earn more than those without the degree. Education experts recommend that you get a master’s immediately after receiving your bachelor’s. The reason is that your education will be fresh and you will have the discipline to handle advanced study requirements.
Once you enter the workforce, life gets busy. Responsibilities can mount and continuing your education could be delayed for an indefinite amount of time. On the other hand, there are options, like online learning, that may allow you more time and flexibility while holding down a full-time job.
Evolve with the Field
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has suggested that a master’s degree should be a baseline for qualifying structural engineers. There is simply a greater body of knowledge that must be absorbed, beyond the bachelor’s degree, to function at a person’s highest professional capacity.
There can be tremendous personal satisfaction in knowing that you have gone the distance with your education. Your advanced degree can also be a testament to others about what you can potentially accomplish.
Pursuing an advanced degree can also offer candidates a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to publish a thesis. Just think of the analytical and research skills that can be developed.