Have you reached an impasse in your career due to office politics, poor management, or lack of passion? Are you considering pursuing a graduate degree to breathe new life into your career? Perhaps your boss suggested continuing education or another degree would help you move up to the next step in management. Or maybe you find yourself tired of the current career path and want to explore a new career path. Thousands of career professionals are going back to school, especially in this less than ideal job market. With unemployment rates still elevated, even highly experienced individuals are turning to graduate schools in order to make themselves more desirable in an extremely competitive market. However, before you leap to the conclusion that a masters or doctorate degree will resolve all your career and financial problems, consider the undertaking of continuing education. Not only will be require a significant time commitment, it also is a financial burden. Some people may consider it an investment in their future, but given the current economic conditions, ask yourself if the additional debt of a graduate degree is something that will provide the returns worth the investment? With the ever-rising costs of education reaching record highs, most people will be unable to pay for the tuition without financial assistance like grants or student loans.
A four-year undergraduate degree leaves the average student with $25,000 in debt—and a graduate degree is likely to be more than that. A prestigious or private school will cost significantly more than the average. And these loans require repayment the minute you graduate. Toss in compound interest and the on-going economic flux, and you may be find yourself worse off than before you got the graduate degree. Take a moment to learn more about the current state of student loan debt. This infographic illustrates how much interest you’ll end up paying on a loan based on standard interest rates, and how long it can take for the average person to pay off this debt. While pursuing further education can be a solid investment, consider this information into before seeking out another degree.