When looking for a job, you more than likely will come across positions with the line among the requirements “MBA/Masters degree preferred. The question is, if you don’t have the relevant advanced degree in the desired field, can you still go ahead and submit your resume? In other words, how much of a deal breaker is not having an MA or MS and if you in fact have it, will it catapult your resume ahead of the applications of the other hopeful job seekers?
In our returning series “Ask a Recruiter”, we spoke with Shrijeet N., one of Akraya’s senior technical recruiters about the pros and cons of having a master’s degree when it comes to nailing your dream job.
There has been a lot of discussion lately if getting an advanced degree is really worth it. Do you think having an advanced degree, such as a Masters or PhD helps candidates get a job?
“Any advanced degree or specialization is always good to have. It adds value to your resume, especially if you are applying for the job in the same domain. Though, don’t stress if you only have a bachelor’s degree. Hiring managers want to hire only the best and they do not restrict their options to only those with a MS/PhD or having specific number of years of experience. Hiring managers will consider both and weigh their options wisely. In addition, sometimes you don’t even need to invest time and money into an MS/MA. A certificate in the specialized field you are applying for can also do the trick and these can be obtained much faster. The most important thing is that you have specialized skills and experience that are relevant to the job you are applying to; this will put you ahead of the competition!
Can relevant work experience ever outweigh a Master’s degree?
“Yes, definitely. If a job candidate is looking for a job in Creative or Project Management, having a Masters, MBA or a specialized certification related to the job will put them ahead of others. For research related jobs, managers specifically ask for a PhD or MS, as these people will be more analytical than those without. Also, sound conceptual knowledge is more important than applied knowledge for certain specialized jobs. However, sometimes a master’s degree means that the candidate spent their time gaining conceptual knowledge and lacks hands-on experience. Working in the field for a certain number of years can benefit a job candidate over a candidate with a Master’s degree and no work experience.”
Do advanced degrees from top universities make a difference compared to not so well known universities?
“If someone has a degree from a top university or has worked with Fortune 100 companies, recruiters notice that and highlight that information in the candidate’s resume. Also, a high GPA score from a well-known college also becomes a great selling point for the recruiter. Though, no matter where you get your advanced degree from, it will still benefit you in your job search.”
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