Is Grad School Worth the Investment?
Graduate school can be one of the most significant, important, and daunting decisions that an individual can make when measuring prospects for their future. Grad school can come at an immense financial cost and consume years of a person’s life. However, when looking at the myriad of options and the variations between different specializations, a rational decision can be made on whether or not grad school is the right option to pursue.
Graduate school can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming. For example, two full years at Stanford University can cost upwards of $100,000. The only way that the majority of students can afford such hefty costs is by taking out even more student loans, which can accrue interests and quickly grow out of control if not checked. This debt can bury a person’s finances and negate any potential benefit that graduate school could bring to the table.
However, graduate students comprise only a tiny fraction of the population, making them a much rarer commodity and therefore, more valuable to potential employers. Many advanced and specialized jobs can just be filled by people with certain types of training and education, allowing graduate students to fill a niche where nobody else can. In the case of research professions, such as research scientists or advanced engineers, Having a graduate degree appears the only rational choice and opens dozens of potential employment doors. When you earn your graduate degree, it will show potential employers your determination, intellectual prowess, persistence, and the ability you have to handle the most challenging environments. However, if you can’t showcase these skills in your resume and applications, you won’t see much benefit.
Other factors that must be considered are the growth in the specific area of the graduate school degree. The domains of medicine only seem to be drastically growing, and positions are manifesting faster than people can fill them. ON the flipside, certain types of law like criminal justice have an oversaturation of applicants, decreasing the value of the job and the likelihood of success. On a case by case basis, graduate school can be an overwhelmingly positive or a negating factor.
Overall, when looking at all of the data and further weighing the cost and benefits, it appears that certain graduate schools are indeed a wise investment that can pay dividends forward into the future. However, other important variables must be examined as well, such as pursuing a specific field and the school where you obtain your education. In particular areas, like medicine or law, graduate school is the only option to attain the highest degrees of excellence and specialization.