<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1825486384374931&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Uncovering the True ROI of a Graduate Degree

January 23, 2020

Whether you are finishing your undergraduate degree or working and considering going back to school, you may be wondering — is a master’s degree worth it? Will it increase my salary?  

Bottom line — is it a good return on my investment?   

You spent time and money on an undergraduate degree, so it’s understandable that you’d want to be informed before taking your next steps. While your potential salary should be an important consideration in your decision-making process, there are certainly other factors to consider as well. 

To help you with your decision, we’ve highlighted several ways to gauge the return on investment (ROI) of a graduate degree.  

Looking for weekly stories, resources, and general advice about graduate  school? Subscribe to the blog today!

Add to Your Professional Skill Set

A graduate degree equips you with specialized knowledge for your field. Graduate courses both offer you an increased number of occupational skills and help you to focus and refine them. Your degree provides you with a competitive edge, helping you to stand out among a pool of qualified applicants. It also shows that you are dedicated to your field and interested in making significant, unique contributions to it. 

Increase Your Professional Opportunities

If you desire to be a leader in your field, a master’s degree can also provide you with the opportunity for advanced leadership and managerial positions. Obtaining a master’s degree is an impressive task. It requires dedication, time-management, and responsibility. Combine these attributes with an increased skill set to leverage, and you’ve set yourself up for a promotion. Some professions also require an advanced degree. In fields like medicine, teaching, and engineering, a graduate degree could give you the job training needed to move into your desired position.

Build a Network

Graduate programs can also increase your professional opportunities through networking. In a master’s program, you interact with a wide variety of different students who share your drive and passion to advance their understanding of the field. Working and collaborating with these like-minded, forward-thinking individuals often leads to new connections and increased exposure to professional opportunities. Likewise, professors that teach grad level courses are highly qualified, often with on-the-job experience, and can offer you direction, advice, and sometimes a personal connection you as pursue your professional goals.

Increase your Earning Potential

One of the greatest benefits of a master’s degree is the opportunity to earn a higher salary. A study from Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce found that the average annual salary for a bachelor’s degree holder was $61,000. For a graduate degree holder, the annual salary was $78,000. That’s a $17,000 difference! Some fields experienced even higher increased salaries, including degrees in biology, life sciences, and the health industry. While financing graduate school is an investment, the potential for significant increases in compensation will offer you more than a fair return. We encourage you to research your given field to see what increases you can expect.

Make a Career Change

Thinking of a career change — you’re not alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 6.2 million workers changed their occupation between 2015-2016. If you really care about working in another profession and are ready to make a switch, a master’s degree can be your ticket to a new and more fulfilling occupation. A graduate degree will give you the training, skills, and credibility needed to break into a new career.

Increase Your Job Security

Earning a master’s degree impacts job security. The job market is always evolving and experts project that by 2022, occupations that require a graduate degree will have the most growth. They project an 18.4 percent increase in jobs that require a master’s degree. This makes now the perfect time to pursue a master’s, knowing that there are job opportunities right around the corner. In a job market that is favoring advanced degrees, obtaining a master’s can help you retain your job as well.

So is a Graduate Degree Worthwhile?

While the potential for increased compensation is the most obvious benefit of a master’s degree, there are so many other ways to see an ROI from your graduate studies. A master’s degree can increase your access to connections, jobs, and promotions. You’ll pursue what you love in graduate education and enhance the skills required to make a difference in your field. The value of a graduate degree is seen in benefits that can last a lifetime.  

Thinking a graduate degree may be right for you? The next step is finding a graduate program that fits your unique needs to set you up for success in today’s marketplace. At Sacred Heart University, we are committed to helping you achieve your academic and professional goals. Check out our graduate admissions page for more information on our available advanced degrees. We invite you to reach out to us for more information and to contact us with any questions that you have so we can assist you on your journey. 

Want more information about grad school? Subscribe to our blog for weekly stories and actionable tips!

Subscribe Today!

SHU Graduate Admissions Team

About the Author

We are the graduate admissions team at Sacred Heart University. We aspire to create a welcoming and supportive environment for students looking to continue their education while empowering them in mind, body and spirit. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a graduate degree at Sacred Heart!

5 Most Recent Posts

Subscribe to the Blog

The Differences Between Graduate and Undergraduate Study:
Everything You Need to Know

woman making decision with grad cap on-1

This resource covers ten important differences between graduate and undergraduate study and offers advice on how to choose the program that best fits your needs.

Explore the Resource

Recommended for you