Is a Master's Degree the new Bachelor's Degree?

I've been working in the private sector for a while now while taking graduate courses and one thing that has stood out over the past few years is how many people at my company have Master's degrees. I myself have an MBA, and I've often had small talk with hiring managers at this firm that basically say that Master's Degrees are almost expected for the line of work that I'm in (corporate finance/investments).

I can't figure out if this is par for the course these days, or just a peculiarity that has to do more with my chosen field. Have any of you found that this is the case? Have you adjusted your education paths with the expecation that you'll be competing against more people holding Master's degrees for jobs/promotions down the road?

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  • The thing is, if you take the idea of a social proof from scarcity principle and understand that humans act very closely to the Pygmalion effect, you can kind of understand that it's a yes and no problem.

    We start with the latter, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone says that MS is going to be better than BS but it wasn't true then, any time an employer hires an MS over a BS, this acknowledges the cognitive bias of people's hypothesis that "they got hired because of MS", and because of cognitive bias, they disregard any external factors that might have contributed to his hiring process. This, in turn, compels the applicant to further study into MS before applying, further snowballing this ideology. Recruiters are always looking for a better way to generalise their candidate pool and reduce false positives, and if substantial candidates apply as MS, they'd add it to their requirements/add-ons.

    The above is catalysed by social proof, where people will emulate other MS people who were hired. Maybe some automatically believe MS > BS, but I think this ideology succeeded in part of tertiary education's marketing efforts, as MS is not quite PhD in terms of investment and technicality, but somewhere between a BS and PhD, like a solution to BS grads who couldn't find jobs or need refreshers.

    One other thing to note is that, logically if more people come into the workforce with MS, you're generally going to be competing with that pool. This will saturate what Mhmd said; you will not be able to get industry experience if the Entry-level hire was an MS. Many, many more factors play into this that would end up as a wall of text...

    BUT, this intuition does not take into account research or other extremely high level scientific domains, as a PhD is more than likely a given at those jobs. Think, CERN Researcher or Surgeon. This also assumes tradies, blue-collar and other high-turnover jobs like Macca's is out of the equation as those usually would have things like apprenticeship, etc.

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  • The thing is, if you take the idea of a social proof from scarcity principle and understand that humans act very closely to the Pygmalion effect, you can kind of understand that it's a yes and no problem.

    We start with the latter, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Someone says that MS is going to be better than BS but it wasn't true then, any time an employer hires an MS over a BS, this acknowledges the cognitive bias of people's hypothesis that "they got hired because of MS", and because of cognitive bias, they disregard any external factors that might have contributed to his hiring process. This, in turn, compels the applicant to further study into MS before applying, further snowballing this ideology. Recruiters are always looking for a better way to generalise their candidate pool and reduce false positives, and if substantial candidates apply as MS, they'd add it to their requirements/add-ons.

    The above is catalysed by social proof, where people will emulate other MS people who were hired. Maybe some automatically believe MS > BS, but I think this ideology succeeded in part of tertiary education's marketing efforts, as MS is not quite PhD in terms of investment and technicality, but somewhere between a BS and PhD, like a solution to BS grads who couldn't find jobs or need refreshers.

    One other thing to note is that, logically if more people come into the workforce with MS, you're generally going to be competing with that pool. This will saturate what Mhmd said; you will not be able to get industry experience if the Entry-level hire was an MS. Many, many more factors play into this that would end up as a wall of text...

    BUT, this intuition does not take into account research or other extremely high level scientific domains, as a PhD is more than likely a given at those jobs. Think, CERN Researcher or Surgeon. This also assumes tradies, blue-collar and other high-turnover jobs like Macca's is out of the equation as those usually would have things like apprenticeship, etc.

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