Why should I go to graduate school?
You’ve earned your bachelor’s degree. Should you continue your education? Going to graduate school requires an investment of time and money. Consider these five reasons to go to graduate school and then decide if it’s the right decision for you.
You could earn more money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 people with a master’s degree earned $240 more per week—that’s more than $12,000 per year—than people with a bachelor’s degree. And those who hold a doctoral degree earned $567 a week and nearly $30,000 more per year than bachelor’s degree holders.1 Of course, salaries vary by field, place of employment, and even where you live.
Action step: Be sure to do industry and regional salary research to determine your earning potential with a master’s degree or a doctorate.
You’re less likely to be unemployed. People with doctoral degrees are the least likely to be unemployed—their unemployment rate is only 1.5%. Master’s degree holders experience a 2.6% rate of unemployment. Those with bachelor’s degree have a 3.5% unemployment rate.1 While there isn’t any degree that can guarantee employment, statistics show that the more education you have, the less likely you are to be unemployed.
Action step: In addition to having a degree, being a reliable employee, working well with others, and maintaining a resilient attitude are attributes that can help you be more likely to remain employed even if your organization has to lay people off.
Your dream job may require an advanced degree. Certain careers require a master’s degree or a PhD. For instance, to become a teacher, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, but to become an elementary, middle, or high school principal, you’ll need a master’s degree. To work as a college professor, you’ll typically need a doctoral degree.
Action step: Research the entry requirements for the career you want. Look at job descriptions at organizations you’re interested in working for and network with people who have the job you want to find out how they got started.
You want a promotion. If you’re already happily working for an organization, but you want to advance into a high-level leadership role, earning a graduate degree could be your pathway to a promotion. Perhaps earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) could propel you from a sales job to vice president of sales. And, depending on your field of expertise, there are many positions where getting to the next level professionally requires an advanced degree.
Action step: Don’t assume a degree is all that you need! Talk with your supervisor and your human resources department about your career path and how to move up in your organization.
You want to learn more. A bachelor’s degree provides a good base of general knowledge in a field. If you want to immerse yourself in a particular specialization, an advanced degree can give you an opportunity to conduct research and to design and complete projects in your chosen field.
Action step: Look for master’s degree and PhD programs in your field of interest. Consider specializations that will give you the opportunity to study the specific subject you’re passionate about.
Job security, a career goal or promotion, and advanced expertise in a field are all good reasons to go to graduate school. But one reason to not pursue an advanced degree is that you could miss out on two or more years of salary if you quit your job to go to graduate school. Luckily, there’s a solution to that obstacle: online education.
Walden University is an accredited university that was created to help working professionals earn degrees. You don’t have to sacrifice your income to go to school. Walden’s flexible online platform enables you to complete schoolwork at whatever time of day (or night) is best for you. And you can learn from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, without worrying about commuting to a campus.
Through Walden, you can work full time and earn a master’s degree or a doctorate online. Get the skills and knowledge you need to thrive in your career with an advanced degree from Walden.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering online master’s degree programs and online doctoral degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Fill out the form and we will contact you to provide information about furthering your education.
Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.