Just finished a masters degree relevant to my work. Should I ask for a raise because of my new degree?


I recently completed my MSW and have additional skills that are relevant to my current job. However, I have not taken on new duties as a result of the MSW. Is it reasonable to ask for a raise based on new skills alone?


Instead of a raise maybe discuss a new role or promotion since you now have earned the degree and have more skills.

You first should try to find a way that you could provide extra value to the company, ask for that responsibility coinciding with a raise. If the degree doesn’t change what you do at all, or your deliverables they may not want to pay you more.

Do not immediately ask for a raise, look at it more as a long-term building up of your qualifications and what you bring to the table. It could be brought up during reviews and so forth. But definitely, it should provide you a boost in upcoming reviews and increases.

If your job has pay bands that are firm (like in academia), I would look them up (if you are in the US and the school gets federal funding, they have to keep it as a public record).

Where I used to work adding a master's was supposed to add 10-15% to my salary, and this was pushed on me (work full time and get masters). This was back when people worked at a job 15-25 years or longer and pensions were a normal thing ( I was hired the first year they stopped doing pensions).

But when I graduated I got a new boss, and there were new rules. As people have said, new roles, new responsibilities should be part of it. That is how it seems to work now.

I toiled for 4 years with a 3-hour commute on top of the job and school. Biggest waste of my time, money, and life. I lost my boyfriend because I never saw him, my health because I had no time to take care of myself - for nothing. It hurt s much that the rules changed during this time in my life. The only solution was to quit and find new work.

When I started, there was an annual meeting. Everyone stood. Then they would ask everyone less than a year to sit, then 3, then 5, then 10, then 15, then 20, then a big round of applause for those standing. At first, 10 years or more were more than half the people. More than 20 was a quarter. When I made the 10-year mark, I was one of 8 out of about 250 people there).

TLDR; automatic raises due to new degrees seems to be outdated.

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