master degree graduate

What Types of Careers Benefit Most from a Graduate Degree?

by | Sep 7, 2021

Not every career path requires you to have a master’s degree to do your job, but some graduate degrees can enhance your knowledge and increase your earning potential. And many careers, such as Nurse Practitioner or Mental Health Counselor require a master’s degree for even an entry-level position. That’s because these fields rely on deep theoretical and practical knowledge that simply takes more time to master.

But there are also general career paths where you would benefit from an advanced degree.

  • Business: There are many business careers that don’t require a graduate degree, but if you expect to rise to the top of your organization, the MBA Degree signals that you have deep analytical knowledge and leadership skills. The degree doesn’t just bring you more responsibility and respect; it can also help increase your salary. People with an MBA often switch careers and earn more money.
  • Education: Many states require teachers and administrators in education to earn a master’s degree. Even in areas where it is not a requirement, it may benefit you financially. Teacher salaries are usually determined on a stepped basis where the longer you teach and the more advanced degree you have, the more you will earn. And if you aspire to a leadership role like a school principal or school superintendent, you will most assuredly need an advanced degree.
  • Healthcare: Doctors aren’t the only healthcare professionals that require advanced degrees. Physician’s assistants, clinical laboratory technicians, and others all benefit greatly from the increased knowledge and training included in a graduate degree program. Nurses with a master’s degree can also advance into leadership positions to make a meaningful impact on patient care and the nursing profession.
  • STEM: On the leading edge of innovation and thinking, many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers require or benefit from advanced degrees. Chemists, biophysicists, and biomedical professionals often need the knowledge they attain through an advanced science degree to be effective in their jobs.

Why Get a Master’s Degree?

In addition to some professions requiring graduate study, a master’s degree may help you:

  • Earn more money: The average weekly earnings for a master’s degree holder is $1,401 versus $1,173 for a bachelor’s degree and $836 for an associate degree.
  • Advance further in your career: Once you’ve worked several years in your field, gained a lot of useful experience, and proven yourself an asset, sometimes the only way to climb to the next rung of the career ladder is with an advanced degree.
  • Learn valuable information: Graduate degree programs help you learn advanced concepts and demonstrate skills at a higher level than an associate or bachelor’s degree. You delve into concepts more deeply, explore different avenues, and build upon your current knowledge to gain a greater understanding. A graduate degree validates your knowledge and expertise in the field.
  • Be more marketable: If you decide to switch companies or even careers, an advanced degree is usually valuable no matter where you work. It can open doors that you never thought of and increase your chances of getting hired in more familiar places too.
  • Grow your network: Your fellow graduate students can become part of your lifelong network. These classmates may become colleagues down the road. And you never know when you may need an introduction or reference.


Bluefield University is a faith-based Christian university in rural Virginia. We offer more than 70 academic programs—including graduate-level tracks with flexible online options. We pride ourselves on helping you find your passion and giving you the tools you need to pursue it. Contact us today to learn more about where an advanced degree might take you and your career.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

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