It’s kind of hard to imagine that I’ve already been going to school for sixteen years, seventeen if you count preschool. By this time, most people would rather just be done and over with their education and actually start taking home that big paycheck. After making the low five figures, I can see why it would be very alluring to just go out and get a job after graduation, but I’ve decided to stick it out for another two years and go for the master’s degree, and here’s why.
Getting a Master’s degree can be very inexpensive if you do it right. There are not nearly as many credit hours as being an undergraduate (often as low as 30), so it won’t cost nearly as much money. To go to Dakota State University with in-state rates, I’ll probably have paid around $25,000 for tuition, excluding room and board. For my graduate degree there, it’ll probably only cost around $7,000. It could even be as low as $5,000 if I get approved to be a graduate assistant, and that’s not a bad deal for another two years of solid education.
I’ll also get a very good and solid education. Let’s face it; 4 years just isn’t enough to teach about everything you need to know in the information technology field. Sure, you can be a computer support specialist with a two year degree and make $30,000 a year, but if you really want to do some hard core programming or computer work, you just need more education.
In addition to the education, it’ll give me a lot more of what we all really want, money. A recent survey found that people with graduate degrees statistically make 35% to 50% more than people with undergraduate degrees. Of course there are no guarantees just because of these statistics, but the additional knowledge that I learn while in graduate school will enable me to be much more valuable to a company when I finally do graduate once and for all.
Picking up a Master’s degree will also put me in a much better place for marketability. A recent study from the Census Bureau stated that 27.2% of people had bachelor’s degrees. The study also found that for every four people person with a bachelor’s degree, there is only one with a master’s degree. That certainly sounds like a leg up over the competition, unless of course I am deemed over qualified, but more often than not that only occurs with Ph.Ds.
There are a lot of good reasons to pickup a master’s degree after graduation, if you can handle going to school for another two more years after graduating college, you should certainly consider it. Of course the numbers won’t work out as well as they did for me for everyone, and graduate school is not for everyone, but it does add additional opportunity if you can manage it.