We all hear the horror stories: unemployed college grads, heaps of debt, a still-struggling job market.
Yet according to recent census data, despite increasingly high costs of education and the well-documented financial woes faced by many recent grads, more Americans hold a bachelor’s degree than ever before.
It is not just bachelor’s degrees that are increasing in frequency; more and more individuals are attempting to stand out from the flock through post-graduate education.
In fact, from 2002 to 2012, the highest rates of increases in education attainment levels were actually doctorate and master’s degrees.
Graduate school is a colossal commitment — one that requires a great deal of time and resources — but the rewards reaped can be immense.
According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report titled, “The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings,” over an adult’s working life, those with a bachelor’s degree can expect, on average, to earn, $2.1 million. Those with a master’s degree: $2.5 million.
“A master’s would definitely boost my pay,” Caroline Chung, a junior English education major considering graduate school in the future, said. “More realistically, that’s mostly why I’m looking into it.”
“But also I like my English program,” Chung added. “I would really enjoy continuing on with my studies.”
Many feel that graduate school has all but become a prerequisite for high professional aspirations.
“Based on what I’ve learned in my education classes, grad school is a necessity for advancement in my professional field,” junior English education major Marc Vanderjack said, who is also considering graduate school.
Though graduate school often brings vast intellectual and economic rewards, it frequently results in a far less desirable outcome: crippling debt.
“Hopefully I will get a job teaching at a high school that will help me finance grad school,” Chung said. “If not, I will have to take out loans.”
Interested in learning more about the pros and cons of attending and financing graduate school?
The Career Center and University College are hosting Graduate School Series workshop from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday. The event will be held in the Student Services Building, Room 110P.
The workshop will help those who are unsure how to go about deciding which school to attend and also how to finance for the future.
The Graduate School Series will continue at 4 p.m. each Wednesday through March 5 in the Student Services Building, Room 110P.
Registration is required for these sessions and can be done by visiting CareerCenter.IllinoisState.edu.