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Is a Graduate Degree Worth the Money?

One of the furious debates going on right now in the world of finance and money is the one over whether or not getting a college degree is “worth” it. [3] And, of course, the debate only intensifies once you start talking about graduate and professional degrees.

The reason that this is such a debatable subject is due to the fact that different degrees offer different advantages. Not everyone with a Master’s degree or a professional degree (such as a law degree or medical degree) is going to earn the same amount because the salaries you see when you are done vary widely. Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce [4] estimates that the median salary with an advanced degree is $73,738. However, that doesn’t mean everyone with an advanced degree. (Indeed, half of those with advanced degrees will earn less.) The Center also points out that payoff from getting an advanced degree can mean as little as a 1% boost to your salary, or as much as 190%.

What is Your Graduate Degree Worth?

Before you decide to spring for a graduate degree, consider how much it is going to be worth when you are done. Some things to keep in mind include:

In the end, only you can decide if an advanced degree is worth the cost. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons, and decide how much student debt you are willing to take on — and the salary you can realistically expect when you’re done — before taking the plunge.

(Photo: digitalkatie [6])