One of the best investments you can make is in yourself. By that, I don't mean new dress or suit (though I admit there’s a certain catharsis in buying yourself nice things). It means investing in yourself through education. So the question is, should you or shouldn’t you continue your education through graduate school?
It’s an investment for your career
Rather than the exception, college degrees are the norm, it seems. No longer is graduating from (insert your favorite college here) an eye catcher for Mark in HR. Instead, it’s just another check in the long list of requirements. A Master’s degree though? That’s a different story. It stands out in a sea of resumes.
Of course, a graduate program isn’t free, but I'm talking about the long term here. With a Master’s degree, not only are you more likely to get the job that you’re looking for, but you’ll earn a higher salary to go along with it. According to Pew Research, the monthly median income for someone with a bachelor's degree is $3,836, compared to $4,772 for a Master’s degree. That’s almost a thousand dollar difference! Spread that over a year and that’s more than $10,000 in extra income!
It’s an investment in yourself
This may seem the same as “investing in your career”, but in fact, it’s vastly different. Life is not defined by our career, potential earnings or our job in general. It’s about the relationships we make, those crazy experiences that seem to happen when you least expect it. A career that you love is important, sure since you’ll be doing it almost every day and you want to make sure you’ve made the right decision. However, life is long. There’s plenty of time to join the workforce.
Graduate programs offer the best of both worlds, imparting knowledge of your chosen field while also allowing you to travel and play and do all the fun stuff you have time for. That’s why graduate programs overseas are so popular. Imagine going to class in the morning, then visit the Sistine chapel in the afternoon. If prefer a more tropical setting, Barcelona is home to beautiful beaches and some world class universities. And if you’re looking for an experience of a different culture altogether, you could try studying in the UAE or Saudi Arabia.
At the end of the day, investing is about getting more than you put in, and a graduate program will do just that. Yes, may be more expensive upfront, in the long run, that money will be made back, and then some. The biggest benefit is the experiences that it has to offer, whether you decide to go abroad or stay in your home country. You’ll find out more about yourself, and isn’t that what life is all about? I'd say so.