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Madison - What's Graduate Degree Actually Worth

A post-graduate degree can open many more doors for advancement and opportunity in your career, but how much is a graduate degree actually worth?

According to the graph below, the average person who holds a master’s degree earns an additional 36 percent per year beyond bachelor's degree holders because of it. Multiply that by 10, 20 or 30 years, and getting your master’s makes a whole lot of sense…and cents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics corroborates this findings with their own studies. In the second quarter of 2013, workers 25 and over with an advanced degree (professional or master's degree and above) earned on average $286 per week more than those with a bachelor's degree only. Multiplied by 52 weeks, this would be $14,872 per year. Over a working lifetime of 30 years, these workers will earn approximately $446,160 more than their less-credentialed peers.

Weekly earnings

However, not all master’s degrees are created equal. U.S. Census Bureau findings show that those with a master’s of arts degree typically yield less income than the average listed above, while MBA’s and master’s of science degree holders earn more. To determine whether it’s a smart financial move for you, decide on your final career goal and then research the following:
Will earning a master’s degree…

  • Help me achieve that career goal?
  • Help me fulfill the educational requirement for the occupation I want?
  • Increase my earnings potential in my current position?
  • Make me eligible for promotion at my current employer?
  • Increase my credibility to clients and/or staff? (This is an important question for business owners and consultants)

On the other hand, if you want to take a graduate degree program because you have a very strong interest in gaining additional knowledge on a subject, or if you have a specific educational goal you wish to achieve, then future income is certainly not the only aspect to consider.

The information below reflects aggregated data from all of the Herzing University campuses that have students enrolled in the specified program in the specified time period. The information does not reflect data regarding individual campuses unless only one campus had students to report. The reporting period used to obtain this data was 7/1/2012-6/30/2013. If there were less than 10 graduates in a program, median loan debt and on-time completion data were not disclosed for that program to protect the privacy of those students. Tuition and length may vary by campus location. Ranges could not be input for tuition and length, therefore tuition and length reported are the highest tuition rates and longest program length to encompass all campuses. For information regarding specific campus tuition please refer to . For a more detailed description of how the data was calculated please refer to the Disclosure Methodology located here .

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