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Mar 17, 2017 10:29 AM EDT

Questions To Ask If Graduate School Really Is For You

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A lot of people pursue graduate studies with one goal in mind - career enhancement that could lead to a higher paying job. This is, of course, true but another reality often overlooked by many is the cost of obtaining a master's degree, which often leads a lot of people to huge debts.

Future income is a big factor for those who pursue graduate school but they should also look at the fact that not all will yield a higher income return in the future. For example, a financial professional with a master's degree will have a much higher salary than someone with a bachelor's degree. However, those who have a master's in communications yields almost the same return as that with only a master's degree. Thus, it helps to ask these questions before the final decision. 

Does a master's degree really matter in that certain position and field?

Andrew Hanson, a senior research analyst at the Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce, said that in some fields, like medicine and health, a graduate degree is needed because the number of skills required for this field is evolving.o

On the other hand, other fields look more on the candidate's portfolio because it demonstrates what they can do.

How much it will cost and will the cost of repayment after graduation a burden or not?

Many students think that paying around $30K to $40K a year is okay but there are other programs that can cost half the price. There are also students who opt for online education or blended learning because it gives them flexibility and limits the debt.

Will that graduate degree augment the earning potential?

Stephen Mangum, the dean of the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, says that those who are considering going to graduate school should calculate how much their likely income stream will be when they go and when they don't. This includes the savings they will have when they forego graduate school.

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