Skip to Content

The Right Fit - How to Find the Right Master’s Program For Your Career Goals

Sreyoshi Battacharya


“The best investment you can make is in yourself," Warren Buffet once said.  For business professionals, that means pursuing a business master’s program, of which there are many types, from an MBA or Master of Business and Technology to specialized business master’s. Choosing the master’s program that aligns your passions with your career goals involves weighing multiple factors. To make a balanced decision, you’ll need careful planning, starting with:

Career aspirations

Charting a roadmap of what excites you career-wise helps you narrow down options. Ask yourself, what will a master’s degree add to my career profile? What area of knowledge am I interested in? What domains —entrepreneurial, technical, communication, financial, professional, interpersonal — align with my past educational qualifications and future career endeavors?

Degree of fit

Next, identify schools that match your career aspirations. If possible, visit schools and meet students and faculty to gain unique insights into the culture. Studying the academic requirements and course curricula of the schools you are interested in can help distill what you want from your career and the degree that you are seeking. Are the course contents aligning with your career goals? Are there experiential learning opportunities that will provide real-life work scenarios for you?

Find your calling

Most universities understand individual differences in academic interests and offer course electives and specializations within programs to help you customize your education. Different universities may offer similar programs with slight variations. Each university hopes their program best fits you, but ultimately, it’s critical to ask yourself if the school’s unique cornerstone and course foundations dovetail with what will lead to a satisfying career.


Connecting with the program specialist, faculty members and students via information sessions and webinars or even emails can be helpful in gaining firsthand perspectives on the programs. Seek advice from them and your mentor(s) or career counselors for multiple perspectives. They can help align your academic and career goals. Gathering information on tuition, living fees, scholarships and financial aid can further assist in making a serious, committed decision to join a master’s program.

Be pragmatic as you pursue your goals. Evaluating the prospects within your field of interest is a smart approach to assessing the long-term demand for your skill set. Engaging in conversations with subject matter experts, fellow students and professors will clarify doubts and confirm your instincts. Conducting a comprehensive evaluation can minimize potential hurdles in your future academic and career journey. As you draw near to your decision, give yourself permission to trust your gut.

The obvious question that comes to mind is, why should I get a master’s degree? Here’s what convinced Daniels School of Business students:

  • Knowledge expansion: Arpita Raman, MSHRM ’24, has a background in psychology, and a top-ranked MS in HR degree was the right path for her to further her knowledge and career trajectory. “My interest in organizational behavior aligned directly with the expertise of Dr. Brian Chupp and Dr. Brad Alge. I wanted to work with them to gain more knowledge on relevant topics and choose my preferred specialization. The practical experiences through case competitions, workshops, internships, and exposure to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) caught my eye.”
  • Switching careers: A master’s degree can be a segue into a different career trajectory that can be a better professional fit and bring more joy to working. Dhrumil Gala, MS Global Supply Chain Management ’23, wanted to pivot from finance, and a master’s degree from a reputed university allowed him that opportunity. “My push had more to do with me wanting to make a career switch. I started off as a finance/business major. I completed my Chartered Accountancy course, and then started working in manufacturing/logistics. This is when I realized that going back to school would be a good alternative.”
  • Launchpad for entrepreneurial mindsets: In an ever-evolving marketplace, entrepreneurship is increasingly common. Gala expects that his master’s offers flexibility. He can gain experience, then attempt entrepreneurial endeavors. “My preferred career trajectory will be to work in the supply chain space for a few years, gain experience and expertise and try my hand at entrepreneurship. Supply chain skill sets are highly transferable and can be used in various industries.”
  • Brand value: Gala elaborated that his Master of Global Supply Chain Management from Purdue "was one of the best-ranked MS programs in the U.S. and is STEM-designated. Supply chain MBAs don’t qualify as STEM, which becomes a huge dealbreaker. Purdue’s brand and recognition speak for itself.”

In sum, choosing to pursue graduate studies in a master’s program is a life-altering decision, and you have the potential to transform your career with the right one. This decision should not be hurried, imposed or fast-tracked. Avoiding a few pitfalls can save you time, effort and confusion.

  • There is a difference between a business specialty master's degree and an MBA/MBT (Master of Business and Technology). While MBA/MBTs and specialty master’s degrees all provide an understanding of how businesses work, an MBA offers a broader understanding of business, an MBT provides technology experts with tech and business training, and a specialty master’s explores in-depth knowledge in one key business area.
  • You are neither too young, nor too old to get a master’s degree. This is not a competition, and you are in a race with no one else. Do what serves your goals.
  • You are not alone. There are always resources you can use. Ask questions and seek feedback and guidance. If you’re uncertain about your experience or preparedness, talk through your qualifications with a program specialist at your prospective school rather than write yourself off as not ready.
  • If finances concern you, consider the overall return on investment for your master’s degree. The Daniels School of Business offers ROI information for each program on the tuition page.


If you would like to receive more information about pursuing a business master’s at the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, please fill out the form and a program specialist will be in touch!

Connect With Us