By Laura Morrison, July 2014
Once you graduate from a bachelor's degree program, what do you do next? You maintained a solid grade point average, and have considered pursuing graduate school, but you don't want to be a doctor or a lawyer, and you're unsure if incurring the extra costs will pan out for you in the end.
You may not know it, but graduate school isn't just for future doctors or engineers. Even if you studied liberal arts in college, professional benefits might still be gained by earning a graduate degree. In fact, pursuing a master's degree in the right field might actually help you gain access to new career opportunities.
As one of the least understood aspects of many businesses, many prospective students may not be aware of the career opportunities that can be pursued in the field of human resources. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the field is experiencing a growth of 13 percent annually, which leaves room for new graduates looking to break into the field.
If you think that HR is restricted to hiring and firing, you're only aware of a small part of the picture. HR professionals are responsible for facilitating communication between management and employees, monitoring and developing corporate training and looking out for the well-being of a company's workers. As Education-Portal noted, a masters in human resource management covers such extensive topics as labor relations, financial management, policy development and conflict resolution, among others. Graduates of such programs may choose to pursue careers as human resource managers, recruiters, union representatives and benefits managers.
Anyone who's worked in an office environment has no doubt had a run-in or two with the IT officers. More than turning it off and on again, these professionals are responsible for managing the technology and networking equipment that keeps the entire business running.
Fortunately for those who are interested in pursuing this career, the rapid rate at which more and more businesses are adopting new technology solutions has created a huge demand for skilled IT professionals, and the BLS has predicted that this field will experience around 12 percent growth in the coming years - even higher at businesses that are heavily invested in cloud computing technology.
If managing a company's IT infrastructure isn't for you, it's also a great field to study if you're interested in exploring software development or even computer programming. As a generation of students who are on the bleeding edge of technology development, a career in IT can help to establish a place in the professional world once you graduate.
Far from a nebulous degree you major in in college because you don't know what else to take, political science is one of the major growth industries of today. The BLS reported that the field is actually growing at a faster- than-average rate, expected to increase 21 percent in the next decade, though the job market is likely to remain competitive.
One of the most appealing aspects of earning a master's degree in political science is its versatility and relatively low barrier to entry. Unlike engineering, math or other science- or technology-related fields, there is little in the way of specialized knowledge required to dive in, making it a potentially ideal choice for those who graduated with degrees in the humanities or liberal arts. A graduate degree in political science may prepare students for an array of positions, from diplomats and foreign relations workers to lawyers or prospective politicians. It's a great choice for those who don't want to specialize but who also want to earn a graduate degree to potentially enhance their career opportunities.
About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for GradSchools.com. She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.