The current job market is a tough crowd – with the flood of applicants, employers are becoming increasingly demanding regarding experience and educational background, cherry picking the prospects with the most polished pedigrees. In this cutthroat environment, adding a graduate degree to your resumé is looking more and more attractive. However, given the higher price tag of a graduate program, is it worth the investment?
Based on the evidence, the case for grad school seems undeniable: in 2009, the median salary of master’s recipients was almost 25 percent more than that of colleagues with only a bachelor’s, according to a report done by Georgetown University that analyzed Census Bureau data on compensation by major and degree level.
Dr. Anthony Carnevale, one of the researchers involved in the Georgetown study, concluded that grad school is “the best place to ride out a recession” for those who can afford it and are young enough to reap the long-term benefit, or who are in fields like health or social work – where a master’s or certification is critical to advance. Earning a graduate degree can be especially beneficial to those who are just starting their professional careers – entering the current job market with a diminished starting salary and job description due to insufficient qualifications could compromise a lifelong career and earnings path. Overall, in almost every major, more education results in higher earning power, and the additional qualification also helps separate you from the pack and into more elite, managerial positions in your field.
The graduate degree with the clearest investment-to-earnings ratio is the MBA. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the average expected starting salary of an MBA in 2011 is $91,000.
With the prevalence of online education options, pursuing a graduate degree while continuing to work has never been easier. Check out graduate programs in your field today, and get started on advancing your competitive edge in today’s job market!
Source: The New York Times