By Garrett Nevels, MBA student, Graduate Assistant
Life as an Industry
As a business student, I often look at individuals as a company and life as an industry. Perhaps this is an over simplified view of the world. However, this simplification can sometimes lead to answers that often get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of today’s society.
Often in business if a company is not growing, they may as well be dying. In order to grow as people/companies, we must invest. For this metaphor investing will be education. For me, investing in an MBA was a simple decision. In order to stay competitive in the industry of life I needed to invest in myself. For many business students this is an obvious and easy choice; invest in a Masters to stay competitive in the industry.
Now as we all know, or don’t know, investing is a confusing matter. Just saying…the word “investments” may send shivers down your spine as you imagine a man in suspenders on Wall Street on the verge of an aneurysm as he looks at the thousands of possible investments available. Many students are faced with the choice of investing in a Master’s Degree, or a PhD. This choice bears a lot of weight. I have learned a lot in my years at Missouri State University, and I would like to explain to you why a Master’s Degree is a safe, but incredibly lucrative investment.
Risk and Reward
Now the cardinal rule with investing is simple: risk vs rewards. Only make an investment if the reward is greater than the degree of risk. In this zany little metaphor I’ve cooked up, risk will represent rejection, and reward will represent accomplishment and contentment. A Master’s Degree is the right investment for you to maximize your reward. Perhaps you’re thinking “Well, if I want a big reward I should just hop on the doctorate train, right?” Not so fast.
PhD chances are, you’ve dreamt of those three little letters. You’ve closed your eyes at night and counted P’s, H’s, and D’s instead of sheep. You have had your dream school picked out for years. Only one problem, you need to get in. But how? How can your wonderful dream be put to a screeching halt so quickly? Surely there must be a way to minimize the risk of rejection? A business student’s solution; invest.
Investing in a Master’s degree will improve your chances of getting accepted into the PhD program of your dreams, not number two or three on the list. Master’s degrees provide time to broaden your knowledge and the skills necessary to be successful in PhD programs. Many Doctorate programs only take exceptional individuals and Master’s Degree is a sound investment to becoming one.
In business, we spend copious amounts of time researching an industry before investing in it. We want a “Return on Investment.” A Master’s Degree provides time to research the field you are considering for a Doctorate. We test drive cars before we buy them, why would we not test drive our possible life’s work? A doctorate is a large commitment that could pose abysmal risk if an individual is not certain they are content with that investment. A Master’s Degree can provide you with the proper research data to be confident that you have minimized your risk so that you can maximize your reward.
A Healthy Economy
When many industries are succeeding, we all enjoy the benefits of a healthy economy. Ben Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge, pays the best interest.” So, as a business student, I can confidently tell you, investing in a Master’s Degree before a Doctorate is an excellent way for you to reap the rewards of your investment.