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5 Graduate Degrees to Address the Negative Impacts of COVID-19

Posted by:
March 2, 2021

COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic — where were you when you first heard the words that would impact your entire 2020 experience?

In 2020, we collectively faced an insurmountable challenge. People all over the world experienced uncertainty regarding the future, quarantine fatigue and a sense of isolation.

While going back to school for a master’s degree amidst a global pandemic might seem like a daunting task, we’re here to explain why you should consider obtaining a master’s degree and which graduate degrees will give you the skills needed to improve our post-COVID world.

Preparing for graduate school? Contact a graduate admission counselor at Pacific Lutheran University today!

The national unemployment rate peaked at 14.7 percent in April 2020. 

While that rate has dropped in recent months, the future of the economy remains uncertain, especially for recent graduates and working professionals. Graduate school isn’t just a place to wait out an unstable job market, but rather, it can be a calculated career move! The most important thing to remember is that, in times of economic crisis, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. 

That said, Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2019 shows that graduate-degree holders, on average, had the lowest unemployment rates and highest earnings. If you want to position yourself for a meaningful and successful career, a graduate program can give you the boost you need.

Now, let’s explore a few graduate degrees that could prepare you to impact tangible change in the years to come.

Transform patient care with a master’s degree in nursing

It may seem obvious, but now, more than ever, the healthcare field needs skills, empathetic nurses who can provide phenomenal patience care. 

Nurses with an MSN are eligible for certification in a wide range of leadership and specialized nursing roles like clinical nurse leader or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP). A master’s degree in nursing allows nurses to move out of generalized nursing care and into jobs with more ownership and focus.

Nursing and other healthcare related professions are currently some of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, with the need for nurse practitioners in particular growing at 52 percent, far above the average for all occupations. 

Take part in the “data explosion” with a master’s in marketing analytics

The amount of information available today is astounding. In fact, 1.7MB of data is created every second by every person during 2020. And in the last two years alone, 90% of the world’s data has been created.

This “data explosion” is directly related to technology advancements, and every single organization from a variety of industries (healthcare, engineering, business, marketing, etc.), needs skilled interpreters of that massive amount of valuable data available in order to promote progress. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for market research analysts is expected to grow by 20% by 2028, a rate of growth much higher than the average for all occupations. The demand for mathematicians and statisticians who can interpret data is expected to grow by 30% over the same period.

Improve the well-being of others with a master’s in kinesiology

Promoting healthy activity and movement can change an individual’s quality of life for the better, bringing them greater joy, comfort, and confidence. 

Careers in kinesiology-related fields are oriented toward evidence-based service of others, and professionals in these fields get to build a life helping others overcome critical physical and mental challenges related to the impacts of COVID-19 as well as surpass significant movement-related goals. 

Professionals who obtain a master’s degree in kinesiology are well prepared for a variety of careers, and for that reason, salaries will vary. Equipped with graduate-level credentials, you can expect to make thousands of dollars more a year compared to professionals who hold only a bachelor’s degree.

Challenge the status quo with a master’s degree in education

Empathy, communication and respect are life skills that are paramount in the lives of young people — especially now, when so many students are still required to learn from home. 

The field of teaching offers you a chance to work toward positive social change, but there is a growing need for teachers who are willing to navigate the cultural and social complexity of diverse and challenging classroom environments.  

If you’re considering becoming a teacher, there is a lot to be said for getting your certification and your master’s degree at the very outset of your teaching career. Completing your master’s degree early on in your teaching career means you will spend more years earning a higher salary. On average, teachers with a master’s degree make $60,140 per year, a full $12,370 more per year than teachers whose highest degree is a bachelor’s, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics from 2015-2016.

Implement organizational change by getting an MBA

So many businesses struggled in light of the pandemic, and so many companies — across industries — are seeking skilled, business-minded professionals who can make strategic business decisions that will lead an organization to success. 

The traditional MBA teaches the “nuts and bolts” of business — while preparing future leaders to implement organizational change and strategic leadership positions in many important industries. 

An MBA also prepares business leaders to secure top executive positions, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives make an average of $104, 690 per year. Overall employment is also supposed to grow by 4 percent, which is about as fast as the national average.

Thinking about going back to school for a graduate degree? Connect with PLU today!

If you’re considering choosing graduate school in the near future, you should know that there really is no better time to obtain an advanced degree. The cost of higher education only continues to increase, which means it will never be as affordable to go to grad school than it is right now.

If you have questions about achieving a graduate degree at Pacific Lutheran University, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

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