Three Reasons Graduate Degrees Pay Off – Backed by Research

Choosing to continue your education beyond a four-year degree may seem like a daunting decision. While there are no guarantees of individual success or riches, data clearly support those who elect to pursue a graduate degree.

Here are three significant benefits backed by evidence.


BLS Unemployment and earnings by educational attainment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks unemployment rates and earnings by educational attainment. Based on BLS calculations a master’s degree boosts weekly income by $228 over a bachelor’s degree.

The weekly salary increase may not seem like much at first glance. However, $228 multiplied by 52 weeks equals $11,856 per year. Over a 40-year career, the increase in salary swells to $474,240.


More than 25% of companies surveyed reported recruiting candidates with master’s degrees for positions that in the past were filled by holders of bachelor’s degrees.

The majority of employers (61%) say they are looking for more educated candidates at the mid-level skill level, but 46% are looking to hire better-educated candidates at entry level and 43% think the same for higher levels. – Fast Company


According to Inc. Magazine, successful business leaders including Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg spend at least five hours per week dedicated to the sole purpose of learning.

People who apply the five-hour rule in the world of work have an advantage. The idea of deliberate practice is often confused with just working hard. Also, most professionals focus on productivity and efficiency, not on improvement. As a result, just five hours of deliberate learning a week can set you apart.

Setting aside five hours per week to learn and practice offers substantial professional and personal benefits. Why not use those five hours to pursue a graduate degree. You may expand your knowledge and skill set while enhancing your potential earnings and increasing your attractiveness to prospective employers.

It is never too late to take advantage of these opportunities. Start today, by reviewing graduate programs available in your area and/or online. Chances are you will find an engaging course of study that will fulfill your educational goals.

Jeff Riggins