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Master’s Degree vs Professional certifications

There was a time when every professional in Nigeria wanted a master’s degree to further their career goals, and having a master’s degree was a major weapon in their arsenal. Nowadays, a professional’s arsenal isn’t complete without at least one professional certification in their area of specialization. For a long time, a master’s degree held a massive influence in the professional world, as a matter of fact, it still does, but we are getting many students or professional’s not having the ambition or drive to further their bachelor’s degree, this may have been as a result of the changing trends in the world. 

A master’s degree is awarded to a person upon the completion of a course within a stipulated period, it requires the previous study at the bachelor’s level. It demonstrates a high level of mastery of a particular field of study, with the ability to solve complex problems and think extensively. Some people begin their master’s programme immediately after their bachelor’s degree, while some embark on theirs when a bit older or need it for a certain promotion, and usually by this time they are already working class. The majority of master’s degree candidates are working class and the programme normally interfere with their jobs, but there are full time and part-time master’s degree programmes, the full-time classes usually begin around 6 pm, while the part-time classes are held during the weekends, which gives them enough time to plan their schedules. Back in the days a master’s degree certificate was used to add to an individual’s qualifications, but recently this same advantage has somehow denied some of these degree holders certain job opportunities, some organisations feel these degree holders may be overqualified for certain job positions and may request for a higher salary than candidates who hold only a bachelor’s degree. Apart from qualification, some companies rate certain Ivy League universities higher than other universities master’s degree certificates when considering certain promotional or job positions. 

Professional certification on the other hand is an achievement earned by a person to assure qualification to perform a certain job, some areas of a professional certification include; accounting, engineering, aviation, business, architecture, event planning, marketing, security, computer technology, legal, medicine etc. People always complain about the level of difficulty and also the economic cost to attain these certifications, but attaining these certifications greatly improves the arsenal of a professional, it shows they are capable of handling complex tasks and are in tune with the current trends in their professional practice. Just like a master’s degree can help people to cross into a different field of study apart from that of their bachelor’s degree, professional certifications can also serve the same purpose because they hold significant value in the labour market. For example, an engineering student or a marketing student can become a chartered accountant, if he/she passed all the levels required in ICAN (Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of Nigeria), certain professional bodies don’t regard people have full practitioners until they attain certain professional certifications e.g., accountants, marketers, engineers, pilots, architects etc. Professional certification holders are regarded as ‘the elites’ in their professional practice, they also form associations in order to keep up with the changing trends and help each other in certain situations. 

With a master’s degree and professional certification, there are certain assumptions people tend to make. Some people assume one needs a master’s degree to become a manager in an organisation and without it, they would be denied the promotion, others believe only people who want to become lecturers are the one’s who attain this degree. Regarding professional certification, people find them strenuous because they mostly involve different levels and usually have a relatively low pass rate every diet or period, others even say the cost of attaining them is too high, coupled with the probability of not passing the exams, therefore only a select few who are financially capable can acquire these certifications. Whether a professional hold’s a master’s degree or professional certification, a year’ of research proves they are both worthy tool’s to have in one’s arsenal.


Countributor: Titilope Agbaje
Phone number: 07053646828
LinkedIn: Titilope Agbaje




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