6 little-known perks of getting a graduate degree

Jan 21 2020, 10:45 am

“Where do you see yourself in five years?” This common question makes a lot of us panic, in large part, because we don’t know how to answer it. But that’s totally okay.

So, you’ve got your undergraduate degree or you’re still working towards it, but what happens next? Up until now, maybe you’ve worked a few jobs that haven’t really felt like your passion, or you no longer think your undergrad degree will land you your dream job; that’s got to change ‚ÄĒ and the most effective way to take action is with a graduate degree.

It’s easier than you think to find a program that matches your career interests. Plus, you can even get expert advice from¬†admissions directors representing the world’s top universities in Toronto on Tuesday, January 28 at the¬†QS World Grad School Tour.

The benefits of having a graduate degree go far beyond¬†post-nominal letters after your name. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of those perks.

You can travel while you study

Traditional graduate degrees were once completed entirely on-campus, but that’s not the case across the board in 2020. In fact, you can easily combine travel and study during your¬†master‚Äôs or PhD.

There’s no need to compromise your career and wanderlust goals, and having the opportunity to gain experience internationally instantly gives you a competitive advantage over others when applying for jobs after graduation. Who knows, you could be offered a job abroad and choose to base yourself in Europe for a few years!

You can stand out from the crowd

Student/Shutterstock

Did you know that fewer than 35% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 have a master’s degree or doctorate? This means that earning yours allows you to become a part of a relatively small group of professionals in the country. In turn, having your graduate degree credentials on your resume allows you to stand out from the crowd and shows you’re dedicated to becoming an expert in your field, leading you one step closer to your dream job.

You can get a big salary boost

Sure, this isn’t so much a “little-known” perk. That said, professionals commonly worry that getting a graduate degree will either over qualify¬†them for a role or (conversely) not affect their earning potential whatsoever. But the proof is in the numbers.

According to a report published by the Conference Board of Canada, graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn an average starting salary of approximately¬†$54,295, meanwhile, those with a master’s degree earn an average starting salary of¬†$60,979 (though this figure could be higher depending on the industry). Over time, your potential to earn more is higher with a graduate degree.

You can build your network

Studying/Shutterstock

When was the last time you were hired somewhere based on your resume alone? The job market is becoming even more competitive and it always helps to have connections in the industry, particularly when it comes to applying for jobs. While studying for your graduate degree,¬†you’ll meet fellow students and professors who you could end up working alongside in the future.

You can become incredibly specialized…

There’s only so much “winging it” you can do in a job, and if you don’t have the skills or knowledge to complete a task, it shows. However, attaining your¬†master‚Äôs or PhD¬†is the foundation for future success.

Whether you’re a marketing wizard or data analyst, you can take your expertise and put it to good use as a specialist in your area of work. You’ll be the person your colleagues come to for strategic advice on how to navigate complex projects.

…or you can change your career entirely

On campus/Shutterstock

Even if your undergraduate degree was in something completely unrelated (an archaeology degree¬†seemed like a good idea when we were 18…), getting a¬†graduate degree¬†can help you transition to a career that’s better aligned with your goals. For instance, you can easily take a master’s degree in fashion buying, food science, or business, and change your career entirely ‚ÄĒ the power is in your hands.


The start of a new year is the ideal time to start planning for your future and exploring options for further education. At the upcoming¬†QS World Grad School Tour¬†event, you’ll be able to get expert advice on your graduate program applications from industry pros and have the chance to network with like-minded individuals.

Additionally, you can bring your resume along and get it reviewed by a professional. At the event, you’ll also receive a professional LinkedIn headshot, test prep resources, and career guidance through information sessions and seminars. Not to mention the fact that attendees are eligible for a pool of scholarships worth $7 million USD.

It’s completely free to attend the event. All you have to do is¬†register via¬†QS World Grad School Tour¬†to secure your place.

QS World Grad School Tour ‚ÄĒ Toronto

When: Tuesday, January 28
Time: 3 to 8 pm
Where:¬†Metro Toronto Convention Centre ‚Äst255 Front Street West
Price:¬†FREE ‚ÄĒ¬†Register via QS World Grad School Tour