It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year again— To go Back to School or Not to? That is the Question.
Is continuing an education or finishing a degree really worth your precious time and money? College fees are expensive, and it’ natural to wonder if you will you get a return on your investment.
According to this LA Times article, studies show that college graduates earn 84% more than high school grads! And, those graduate degrees earn an average of $17k more per year than those with a bachelor’s degree according to “The Economic Value of College Majors,” a 2015 study by Georgetown University. The same study showed that on average, a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime, compared to $2.3 million for a college graduate and $1.3 million for those with a high school diploma.
As you can see, that difference in lifetime earnings more than covers the cost of education. While it is true that people with less education can still land jobs in high-paying occupations if they are lucky–we all have heard those stories of someone who became a skilled worker and out-earned their counterparts. However, that is not the norm, and typically within the same industry, workers with more schooling usually earn much higher paychecks overall.
It’s important to do your own research within your specific industry to see if the costs will offset the tuition fees. You can also ask your employer if they can help with some of the tuition costs; oftentimes employers offer reimbursement options if your degree is related to your current field of work. Make sure to study up on the job you’re hoping for and see what the potential salary ranges will be. You don’t want to be disappointed when you finally get your degree and end up earning less than you’d hoped.