Graduate School ROI?

I recently participated in a Chamber of Commerce panel discussion regarding the “Return on Investment of Graduate School.”  The audience was comprised of young professionals who were early in their careers, and considering advancement potential.  The first question posed to the panel (myself and other university representatives) was whether the investment of time and money is worth going back to school for a graduate degree?

In a word, all of us overwhelmingly agreed, “YES!”  But, don’t just take it from a panel of educators, check out these facts and figures and decide for yourself if there is value in a graduate degree.

  • The Federal Reserve recently found that all of the growth in wage premiums over the past decade was due to advanced degrees.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor 2013 reports the unemployment rate for individuals holding a master’s degree was only 3.4% in 2013, compared to 6.1% for all workers.  That means nearly double the job security for those with advanced degrees.
  • Georgetown’s Center on Education & The Workforce revealed that today’s bachelor’s degree-holder can expect to earn 84% more over a lifetime than someone with only a high school diploma, and that’s up from 75% just 10 years ago.
  • And while individuals with a bachelor’s degree have more earning power than high school graduates, individuals with advanced degrees (e.g. masters) earn on average 30% more than those with only a bachelor’s!  In short, individuals with an advanced degree can earn almost 114% more than those with a high school diploma!
  • A High School graduate might earn $1.3 million over a lifetime.
  • Associates Degree holders earn around $1.7M
  • Bachelor’s Degree holders earn on average $2.3M

* Master’s degree holders earn on average $2.7M  – a half million more than college graduates!

  • And those with a Doctoral earn on average $3.3M and those with a Professional degree earn on average $3.6M over a lifetime.

The national statistics don’t lie and neither do our Northeastern University students.  Our online students report a salary increase of 38%, and give us very high marks (ranked 4th) in achieving career progress.

We invite you to learn more about Northeastern’s 15 master’s degrees and 3 doctoral programs available online or in hybrid (classroom & online) formats at our Charlotte campus.  When numbers matter, it’s good to be part of a global network with over 3,000 corporate partners, the #1 Online MBA in the United States, in the top 2 in Career Services for the past 4 years, and a top 50 university in the country.

Visit us today at the corner of Trade & Tryon or call us at 980.224.8468 to become a favorable statistic!

About the Author:

A recognized leader in the community, Dr. Richards served two terms on the Charlotte Chamber’s Executive Committee and three years as Chair of the Education & Workforce Development Committee. She is an active board member of MeckEd and president-elect of Women Executives. Nationally, she serves on the Chair Academy’s Worldwide Leadership Training International Practitioners and Presidents’ Board and held previous regional leadership roles for the National Council for Continuing Education & Training and the Association of Conference and Event Directors International. Dr. Richards has been recognized by the Mecklenburg Times as one of Charlotte’s 50 Most Influential Women and by the Charlotte Business Journal as a 40 Under Forty leader.


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