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Reasons to Pursue a Graduate Degree

Reasons to Pursue a Graduate Degree - counsellingx

Undergraduate students are often confused if a graduate degree is worth it or not. The decision to pursue graduate education is profoundly important as it is a big commitment. You end up binding the next 2 years of your life. Students have an option at this point to either ascend to the top of their profession by embarking on a new career, or continue their academic journey in order to learn more about what they are passionate about. 

Another big factor, in fact the decisive factor for most people, is a very basic financial question, i.e., if the graduate degree is worth the time and money. Not many people are able to come up with the genuine reasons to pursue a graduate degree, as the financial constraints are way over powering than the prospective future benefits. Many students are confused if they will ever be able to pay-off the students loans, as they are not sure if a graduate degree will increase their earnings substantially.

The answers to such questions are not quite simple, as they vary from one profession to other. Various factors come in like whether the course is taken on campus, via a distance learning program, or online.  Apart from that The answer is different for everyone, and varies widely depending on your profession as well as factors like whether you take the course on campus or online. 

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Three main reason for pursuing a graduate degree are:

  • Increase in earnings
  • Equitable opportunity costs
  • Convenience of e-degree

Increase in Earnings

In most cases, a graduate degree means an increase in earnings. Either it is public sector or private sector you want to join, a graduate degree qualifies for a certain perks, one of which is increased earnings.

Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce conducted a research on the percentage increase in earnings after a graduate degree. According to their study, the average earnings of someone with a graduate degree is $80,000 a year. Which is nearly 30% increase in earnings for someone with a Bachelor of Arts degree. A graduate degree holders in biology and life sciences can achieve a two-thirds of salary increase – an upgrade from $60,000 a year earned by bachelor’s degree holders to $100,000 a year. In comparison, graduate degree holders in arts and education fields only get an increase of about one-third in their earnings. In case, you want to pursue the profession of Urban and Town Planning, a graduate degree comes in handy as most of the professionals in this field have a graduate degree. Hence, the salary increase after a graduate degree is not much. In contrast, most of the Insurance underwriters don’t have a graduate degree, so the prospects of a salary increase after graduate education are a lot higher.

In case of USA, the Bureau of Labour Statistics is the standard resource for research on educational attainment levels and average wages for various professions. The Bureau of Labour Statistics found that the average earnings of someone with a master’s degree are nearly 20% higher than someone with a bachelor’s degree, and a professional degree program graduate earns over 50% more. Students from other countries can refer to their respective departments of labour statistics.

There is a lot of variation of average salary figures between different professions. In some cases, a graduate degree not only leads to substantial increase in salary but also makes you eligible for jobs with prerequisite of a graduate degree. There are also some careers where a graduate degree might not pay for itself.

Students should have a clear idea about the purpose of pursuing their graduate degree. It might be for a salary hike, promotion in a company, or career change. In any case, students should do a preliminary research regarding the pro and cons for pursuing a graduate degree for a particular purpose. Otherwise, CounsellingX provides comprehensive guidance regarding the subject, as our counsellors have a keen interest in the global job geography.

Equitable Opportunity Cost

Graduate schools are expensive, and the most obvious cost is the tuition fee itself. An average student enrolled in a graduate program pays up to $24,812 for their degree.

Apart from the average tuition fee, a lot of obscure costs are also present depending on the types of degrees, schools, and duration of the program. Hence, students should have precise idea of the cost of the graduate program before they apply for admission there. 

On average, more than 50% of education costs are financed through the student loans, which also adds up the financing costs. A plan to pay-off loans along with the amount of added interest should be in place as to figure out how long it will take for it with new salary. 

Another cost is the time required to commit to a program. Sometimes the commitment calls for cutting down on the working hours at the current job, other times it requires a full-time attachment to a program. 

The key point here is that all these costs are equitable and justifiable, but it takes some effort. Comprehensive research and hard work is required for that. As stated earlier, many graduate programs pay themselves off in form of the increase in salary, but again it depends on the profession. Many universities provide opportunities to work part-time along with pursuing the graduate degree. Universities often offer financial assistance, scholarship programs, and low-interest student loans. Universities also provide the opportunities to work on campus as teaching assistants, or research assistants. It is up to the students to make use of these opportunities to justify the costs of their graduate program.

Convenience of E-Degree

Pursuing an on-campus graduate degree is no doubt very expensive and disheartens a lot of prospective students. Luckily, the option of pursuing an online graduate degree is a game-changer for the students who don’t want to leave their current jobs in order to continue their graduate studies. It is convenient, flexible, time efficient, and cheaper. 

Students can also complete the degree in their own time. With all of the resources available for an on-campus degree, the online option makes a lot of financial sense for majority of middle level professionals and students.

Again, if a student is willing to pursue an online degree, he/she should conduct a detailed research before making a decision to enrol. Otherwise, students can avail the help form online educational counselling service providers like CounsellingX.com in order to increase their chances of making a right decision.

Next Article: List of Top Universities for MBA in UK

List of Top Universities for MBA in UK - counsellingx

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