Benjamin Franklin once said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

The famous polymath knew a thing or two about accomplishment – he invented everything from the lightning rod and Franklin stove to the flexible urinary catheter and bifocal glasses – and his words still ring true today.

Return on investment

According to Education Pays 2019: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society, the latest report put out by American-based College Board, a master’s degree is indeed a good investment.

Among full-time workers, age 35 to 44, education level was strongly related to the percentage who earned $100,000 or more annually:

  • Five per cent of high school graduates
  • 10 per cent of those with a two-year post-secondary degree or diploma
  • 28 per cent of those with a bachelor’s degree
  • 43 per cent of those with a master’s degree

And while the financial benefits are clear, it’s the non-economic benefits that may prove the most interesting.

Compared to those with less education, university graduates are substantially more likely to:

  • exercise vigorously at least once a week
  • have children who engage in a variety of educational activities with their family members
  • vote and volunteer in their communities
  • not smoke

Six more benefits to earning a master’s degree

According to CareerAddict here are six additional reasons to pursue graduate studies:

1) Advance your career

A master’s degree doesn’t just provide you with an opportunity to progress to the next stage in your career, it also sets you apart from the sea of applicants with bachelor’s degrees.

2) Grow your network

Connecting to other career-oriented, like-minded people, including instructors, goes a long way to enhancing your professional network and furthering contacts with industry leaders.

3) Gain specialist knowledge

From courses in leadership and finance to marketing and organization design, a master’s degree furthers your industry expertise in a particular field and enhances your credibility.

4) Solve complex problems

Gaining a master’s degree isn’t just about achieving a title. Through ongoing education, you not only learn from people at different stages in their life and career, but also become a better problem solver who can tackle complex projects and issues more easily.

5) Improve your brainpower

Master’s degrees are designed to help you teach yourself, rather than simply receive information. The combination of case studies, group work and theoretical coursework allows you to learn in a variety of different ways, introducing you to fresh ideas and concepts, while improving your analytical skills.

6) Become more self-aware

School is about so much more than education – it’s also about personal discovery and growth. Whether you’re achieving something you didn’t think you could, or learning about how to optimize team dynamics, a master’s degree will help you become more self-aware.

Master's-level nursing education makes a difference

Further health-care specific research supports these benefits. A literature review examining whether a master's-level nursing education makes a difference to patient care found five common themes: increased confidence and self-esteem, enhanced communication, personal and professional growth, knowledge and application of theory to practice, and analytical thinking and decision making.

Turns out Benjamin Franklin was right.

Advance your career – along with your interpersonal skills, network and brainpower. Explore ULethbridge graduate programs, from certificates and diplomas to master's degrees and PhDs, below.