Degree Required, Masters Preferred
With the competition in the all job markets being more and more fierce with unemployment rates climbing and the country’s inflation issues, it is thought that master’s degrees are fast becoming the new standard degree.

Once upon a time, the master’s degree was considered a “consolation prize” for those who failed their PHD, but it is now the fastest growing degree, with the amount of master’s degree holders doubling since the 1980s, and has even been dubbed as “credential inflation”.

The New York Times reports the same increase and predicts that it is making the “Bachelor’s” degree a less desirable item to share on your Curriculum Vitae.

With the ‘degree of the moment’ being a professional science masters (PSM), there are now many more master’s degree programmes available (around 240) whereas there were only a handful a few years ago. Many of these were considered to be in the so-called ‘STEM’ areas (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but apparently the humanities departments across the country are jumping on board, also preferring a masters over a standard degree.

So, have jobs begun to “skill up”? Or is this yet another way of driving a bigger wedge between the different groups of people in society?
Universities are throwing out more and more successful graduates each year, so having a masters boasted across a Curriculum Vitae is bound to be more appealing to an employer, and, of course, it will help you stand out from the crowd. But is this just a lazy way for employers to pick the ‘best’ without giving others a real shot at the job? And what will become of the master’s degree in ten, fifteen, twenty years’ time? Will that become obsolete too?

Does having a master’s degree mean you have more power as an employee now? It goes without saying that an employer will want to keep you happy and snap you up as soon as they see the credentials, but having a master’s could mean you have the power to demand a better salary and more job responsibilities, according to one blogger. And, of course these people are the ones in the limelight when potential promotions come about.

As standard degrees become more common, they are fast losing their status and are sometimes considered to be the new college diplomas.

But surely the more people going to university and gaining degrees is a positive? The Government are screaming for more people to go on to higher education and get better jobs, but it seems that the standard degree holders are being chastised for not being ‘good enough’.

So where does this leave the holders of standard degrees? The unemployment line, maybe? Perhaps stuck in a dead end job, where they cannot climb any further because the master’s degree holders are muscling in on the promotions?
A tip for employers: maybe it is best to meet a potential employee before evaluating them based purely on their credentials on a piece of paper.

BY: Rebecca Harris