As the economy gets progressively better, the job market is blossoming with new jobs and opportunities; however, the competition is also on the job hunt looking for the next best position. With new technologies, changing publics and shifting consumer markets, new positions with larger pay, bigger responsibilities and higher stakes have opened for new potentially qualifying grads. Most of these jobs, nevertheless, require specialized training and graduate degrees, which makes question, is going to graduate school worth my time and money?

Let’s explore why many more people are deciding to go back to school. According to National Center for Education Statistics, as of Fall 2012, a record number of 21.6 million people have geared up to go to college, an astounding 6.2 million increase from 2000. These record enrollments are mainly due to an increase of the traditional college age population, meaning college is just for 18-year-olds anymore. During the 2012-2013 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 756,000 master’s degrees and 174,700 doctoral degrees post-graduate students. As explained by the NCES from a study conducted in 2010, the starting median salary of those with post-graduate degree is about $54,700.

Some may still be uncertain whether post-graduate degrees are right for them. Sure, like every life decision, there is a good and a bad.

Pro’s of Getting A Master’s Degree
Getting a Master’s Degree is more than just having a fancy new certificate or a shiny new license. Statistically, post-graduate degree holders earn 25% percent more than their Bachelor Degree counterparts, which in the end will vary on your professional field. Graduate school also has a great pipeline of resources, providing professional development, networking opportunities, allows you to form bonds and relationships with your classmates and mentors (you may even merit a letter of recommendation) and helps you build your resume with phenomenal experience.

The Con’s of Getting A Master’s Degree
One of the biggest downsides of earning a graduate degree is the cost. Because time is money, two extra years of school also subtracts time that you could be spent working full-time. Let’s take into account one of the most popular graduate school fields, business (MBA). According to an article on, the average tuition for an MBA in the U.S. ranges from about $100-$200 thousand, this is without subtracting the cost of leaving the workplace for a few years.

Whether you have are planning on attending the Berkeley School of Music in California or Christian colleges in Michigan, it’s always wise to calculate the costs of attending graduate school and perhaps make a financial plan in order to keep yourself from falling into debt before you start reaping your investment. The upside to the costs of graduate school is the access to scholarships and funds that pay for your training. Several schools offer grants to students through the Financial Aid system, Stafford Loans and work-study programs are among the most popular choices of aid. School departments also allow graduate students to become teaching assistants giving students the chance to earn income while they study.

Whether you are ready for the next step in your education or just curious to see what opportunities lie in graduate school, one thing has always been true, if you are ever to invest, keep in mind that there are two investments that always pay off in the end: education and your future. In researching higher education opportunities, keep in mind that both private or public institutions are available to answer your questions.