1. A master’s paves the way for a Big Change.

With the average tenure at a job now lasting less than five years, it’s perhaps no surprise that at some point, many of us will jump the tracks and pursue a new field. But that’s no easy feat. Employers are quick to typecast potential hires based on their past work experience. If your resume only shows experience in accounting, you’re unlikely to get an interview for a position in marketing — no matter how brilliant your cover letter and ideas. An advanced degree communicates a mastery of knowledge, of course, but it also shows your commitment to making your career change a reality. It demonstrates that you’re serious about making a professional shift through your investment of time, money and effort.

2. A graduate degree burnishes your reputation.

Those letters behind your name on a resume will give you an edge in professional and public circles. Your employer may not require an advanced degree in your current role, but your opinion will carry more weight with your peers. It will also likely give you an edge over candidates when you are competing for a new job. It can also give you the credentials you’ll need to serve as an adjunct instructor at community colleges and some other institutions.

3. A master’s connects you with the best and the brightest.

It’s not just you and your professor in the classroom. Working on a master’s means you’ll be interacting with a cohort of students who either work in the field you’ve chosen or will be working in the field in the future. Some estimates suggest that more than 85% of jobs are filled primarily by