Grad School: Should You Even Bother Considering the Cost?

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  • The average debt that graduates accumulate after a master’s degree program can range well over $50,000.

    Getting a degree in law, medicine, health sciences and other similar programs can reach upward of $160,000.

    Student loan debt has a choke-hold on many Americans in 2017.

    With 44.2 million Americans in student loan debt and over $1.45 trillion in student debt that is owed, is it even worth going to graduate school?

    Many students go to graduate school to climb company ladders, get a raise, or to simply further their education. Quitting a job, borrowing money, and pushing back future plans is often the consequence. Below are some considerations worth looking over before making the decision to go to grad school.


    When applying for a job after graduate school, it does look better on a resume. But there is such a thing as “overqualified”. This is when employers refuse potential employees because of their higher education. Alison Green, a reporter for U.S. News, writes, “To job seekers, being told they’re overqualified can feel like being told by a date that they’re too funny or good-looking – and leaves them wondering why it’s a deal-breaker.”

    When a job seeker exceeds degree requirements for a certain job, the employer may feel obligated to compensate more. The interviewee will have more experience and education, and may require higher salary expectations. This can lead to other hesitations during the hiring process.

    If a job seeker is capable of taking on a high level administration position in the office, but settles for a front desk position within the company, hiring managers worry that their new employee will become bored and unhappy. This kind of employee may leave shortly after the moment something better comes around.

    Is This Degree The One?

    Before taking out another student loan, consider how much an acquired undergraduate degree has already helped helped. Where can it still go? Was it enjoyable? If the main task is to avoid the question “what do I wanna be when I grow up?”, then it may be wise to forgo graduate school, or assess going back for another degree entirely.

    If the undergraduate degree accomplishes a sense of fulfillment and there is a drive for graduate school, the next step is to calculate affordability. the income possibilities can cover most if not all student debt in a reasonable time frame if one were to acquire a master’s in life sciences or nursing. If there is an acquired degree in the liberal arts, such as creative writing, or drama it may pose as much more difficult to pay off. Students may find more comfort in alternative methods for financing their college education.

    Is It of Value?

    TIME Magazine writes, “Hiring managers increasingly place a higher premium on professional experiences than academic credentials.” Which means employers would rather hire someone who is really good at doing the job than someone who is a really good at taking school tests. There are cheaper alternatives to learning a skill whilst keeping a day job. But if the student is serious about tying down a degree in a graduate program, they should consider going part time while working full time. This maintains both an interrupted resume and steady income.

    The suggestions above hold a lot of weight with money and ensuring the financial capability of student loan debt. Though if a student is driven and excited about pursuing education for the sake of education, they should absolutely do so. Regardless of the daunting expenses, some are willing to pay whatever price it takes. Even if the price tag gives them a thorough, well rounded learning experience that they can take with them wherever they go.

    Off-to-College reference:

    need extra $$$ to pay for college

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