How to Ask for a Raise When You Get a Degree [5 Tips]

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Nothing is more satisfying than finally completing your studies and getting that much-awaited degree. After years of hard work and sacrifice, you’ve finally achieved your goal and are now ready to move on to the next phase of your life. But does getting a degree guarantee you a pay raise or a promotion

The vast majority of people believe that education coupled with some experience is a surefire way to earn a promotion or at least a substantial pay raise. In fact, this is one reason why most employees will go back to school while still working.

What most of us fail to realize is that simply getting a degree is not enough to earn you that much-desired pay raise. However, with the right timing and strategy, you can certainly increase your chances of getting better compensation or even a promotion.

Continue reading for effective tips on how to ask for a raise when you get a degree!

Can I Get A Raise With A Bachelor’s Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is the most commonly held degree by employees in the United States. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 2020, 33.4% of the adult population aged 25 and over hold one. 

With such a high number of employees holding a bachelor’s degree, it may be tempting to assume that this automatically puts you in a good position to ask for a pay raise or promotion. 

However, while having a bachelor’s degree is certainly an advantage when it comes to career growth, it’s not always the case when talking of a raise.

What Different Studies Suggest( Bachelor’s Degree)

A human resource manager from a large company in the United States opined that ” Yes, a bachelor’s degree will help you stand out and undoubtedly will give an advantage, but it’s certainly not a 100% guarantee”. 

According to this HR manager, a bachelor’s degree on its own will likely not be enough to earn you a pay increase. In order to be successful in your quest for a raise, you will need to demonstrate that you have added value to the company and have contributed to its growth. 

In another study conducted by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, they found that having a bachelor’s degree can indeed lead to higher pay. However, they also found that the fields you choose to major in play a significant role in whether or not this happens.

For example, individuals with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) tend to get more pay than those who major in other fields.

How Much More Can You Earn With A Bachelor’s Degree?

Let’s assume your boss agrees that you have indeed added value to the workplace and approves your request for a pay raise. How much more can you expect to earn? The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as 

  • Your years of experience 
  • The company’s rate of pay 
  • Your performance on the job

Other considerations such as inflation and cost-of-living adjustments can also play a role in how much more you can earn. Assuming all other factors are equal, you can expect to make 5 -10% more with a bachelor’s degree than without one.

The Verdict: 

While having a bachelor’s degree can definitely help you get that raise or promotion, it is not enough on its own. In order to be successful in your endeavor, you will need to showcase how this Newly acquired degree will add value to your company.

With this in mind, if you are planning to ask for a raise after getting your degree, it is important to focus on on-the-job performance and achievements. This will help you stand out and give you a better chance of getting your desired pay raise.

Can I Get a Raise With a Master’s Degree?

How does a Master’s stack up against a bachelor’s degree when it comes to pay increases? 

In general, a master’s degree will give you a better chance of getting a raise than a bachelor’s degree. This is because a master’s degree is often seen as an indication of advanced skills and knowledge.

Most HR managers also agree that a Master’s gives you an edge over those with only a bachelor’s degree. After all, it’s often seen as a sign of dedication and commitment to one’s chosen field.

What Studies Suggest( Masters Degree)

A Master’s degree will likely boost your earning power compared to a bachelor’s degree. But, does having a Master’s degree guarantee you a pay raise? Let’s have a look at several studies and see what they have to say: 

The Verdict:

Based on the studies above, you are better off with a master’s degree when it comes to getting a pay raise. You are also more likely to get an amazing job. Overall, a master’s degree can be an excellent way to boost your earning power and increase your chances of getting that much-deserved pay raise.

How To Ask For A Raise When You Get A Degree

Getting a bachelor’s degree is an important first step in building your career, and it can certainly help you get the salary boost you are looking for. So how do you go about asking for a raise without looking pushy or entitled? How can you make the most of your new credentials and give yourself the best chance of getting the pay raise you deserve?

Here are a few effective tips!

1. Timing is everything when Asking For a Raise

It’s not unusual to ask for a raise, especially when you’ve just completed a degree program and earned more credentials. However, timing is important. Try to time your request for a raise with your annual performance review or after you have completed a major project.

This will show your employer that you are aware of your company’s goals and priorities and that you are serious about contributing to your organization. If the company is not performing well financially, you may want to wait until the business has picked up before making your request. (Or see: How to Ask for a Raise When the Company Is Not Doing Well Financially?)

Consider your employer’s availability and workload when making your request. Avoid asking for a raise when your boss is busy or frazzled, as this will not put them in the right frame of mind to negotiate.

2. Research On Your Company’s Policies On Different Certifications and Degrees

Companies understand that employees may pursue different types of certifications and degrees, so it is important to research your company’s policies. Some organizations offer raises for employees who complete specific programs or earn different levels of education, while others do not.

If your company has a policy in place, make sure you are familiar with the guidelines before making your request. This will help you make a case for why you deserve a raise, and it will also show that you are invested in your company and your career.

Understanding these policies will also help you gauge how much of a raise you can reasonably expect. And what the company will be willing to offer.

3. Build A Strong Case For How The Degree Will Help The Company

In addition to researching your company’s policies, you should also take the time to build a strong case for how your degree will benefit the company. For example, if you earned a master’s degree in business administration, highlight how you can use your new skills and knowledge to help the company grow.

You may also want to consider how your degree will help motivate other employees or how it can help the company attract new talent. Be specific about how it will benefit the company and explain how you plan to use your new skills and knowledge to help the organization achieve its goals.

With such a strong case, your employer will be more likely to see the value in giving you a raise. Don’t forget to also highlight your past accomplishments and the hard work you have put in to help your company succeed.

4. Have A Conversation With Your Employer About Your Intentions

Once you have done your research and prepared your case, it is time to have a conversation with your employer about your intentions. When you sit down with your boss, be clear about why you are asking for a raise and what you hope to achieve with the additional income.

While presenting your case, don’t simply say, ” I WANT A RAISE BECAUSE I GRADUATED” this will look entitled and unprofessional. Instead,  explain why you feel that you deserve the raise and how it will help the company. Don’t forget to back it up with evidence.

If you have been working hard to contribute to the organization, this is your time to shine and make a good impression. Be positive and confident as you speak with your employer, and be prepared for some questions or pushback. 

Don’t get defensive if your boss isn’t immediately receptive – the conversation may take some time before an agreement can be reached.

5. Be Prepared To Negotiate If Your Employer Does Not Offer A Raise

If your employer has put up a lot of resistance to your request, you may have to negotiate with them. One way to do this is by offering to take on additional responsibilities or agreeing to accept a lower salary if the company agrees to give you a raise in the future.

Whatever route you choose, remember that your goal is ultimately to get what you deserve. Be realistic and flexible as you negotiate, and try to be understandable if the company cannot meet your demands. 

Remember always to end the conversation professionally and to thank your employer for their time.

You Deserve That Raise!

Whether you are already working in a corporate environment or pursuing a degree to help you advance your career, it is important to know how to ask for a raise when you enhance your academic qualifications. While each company approaches this issue differently, there are some key steps that you can take to increase your chances of success. 

With the right preparation and a strong case for why you deserve a raise, you can confidently approach your employer about your request and work towards achieving your goals – both professionally and financially. Try out the tips above on how to ask for a raise when you get a degree and see the success for yourself.