That's great input Abby. One nice element of the Forum is that there will generally be people out there, with just that degree, or with just that experience.
It's nice to know that a MS opens a few doors, as you've said. I agree that when job searching, the companies will always go for the maximum they can get, and if most of their applicants have a BS and you have the MS with some research experience under your belt, you are clearly in the "must call" list,
“Humility is not my forte, and whenever I dwell for any length of time on my shortcomings, they gradually begin to seem mild, harmless, rather engaging little things; not at all like the glaring defects in other people’s characters.” - Margaret Halsey