dcsimg

Is a Masters Degree Worth the Investment?

There are as many answers to this question as there are Masters Degree programs available. Opinions are rampant, but there is no hard evidence that provides a solid equation answering the question. But from any perspective, it's hard to argue that less education is more productive.

Generally the equivocating answer is, "It depends on the degree." An MBA or an engineering degree is going to make you more money on an annual basis than a Bachelors Degree in the same discipline. The increase in salary will pay for the increased cost of education, whether it's $30,000 for a Masters in Civil Engineering at a state school or $100,000 for an MBA program at an elite institution. But it's a matter of how long it will take you to pay back that money, how much of a psychological burden those loans are, and whether or not you could eventually achieve the same career status by working up through the ranks.

Many educational "experts" suggest that a Masters Degree in a liberal arts discipline simply isn't going to provide the additional income that will balance the educational investment. A New York Times series published in June of 2009 raised this issue in several erudite columns - all but one of which was written by a tenured university professor. It's easy to take an unblemished look at the Masters Degree market from within the ivy covered halls, but the view from the classroom - and from business human resources offices - isn't quite so cut and dried.

The MBA and the CPA have, until recently, been considered Teflon degrees that guaranteed quality employment upon graduation. Because most states require additional classroom credits for CPA status, it is essentially a Masters program today. However the jobs that have gone to entry level CPA and MBA candidates in the past are increasingly migrating offshore. MBA graduates in 2009 found that recruiting was down 10% from the previous year. Professor Robert Salomon at the NYU School of Business feels that 2010 will be worse. Certainly a good part of the reason is the feeble economy, but the fact that MBA students are graduating in hoards also has impacted the market.

Liberal Arts is a large catch-all that includes some fairly lucrative options. Some pundits seem to feel that a Masters Degree in the social sciences won't pay its way. Does that include psychology, or marriage and family counseling? Jobs in these fields can pay handsomely, as can counseling in an educational environment. Public school teachers generally need a Masters Degree; in many cases new teaching graduates are pursuing a career based on personal interest rather than income alone.

Many employers looking for entry level sales and marketing people are just as interested in an anthropology graduate as a business major. Successful businesses run on efficient, quality human interaction and often employers find those qualities more readily apparent in liberal arts majors with a broad perspective on the world. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows in a detailed, though dated, analysis that while Liberal Arts majors are hired at a lower pay scale than their counterparts in engineering and business, they are still hired and often over the course of a career catch up on the salary scale as well.

Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            • Online Courses

            Why is Boston University ranked #39 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017? And what is the catalyst that prompts 33,106 students to call BU their home every semester? It's in our DNA: an inherent desire in each of our students, faculty, and staff to vigorously and dauntlessly pursue knowledge—and embrace the unlimited possibilities that come with it. Founded in 1839, Boston University is one of America's largest and most respected private research universities. It offers a unique combination of academic excellence and social relevance for its more than 33,000 students from 135 different countries. 

            • Online Courses
            • The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the MSW@USC program. Complete in as little as 1 year with a BSW.
            • Earn a Master of Social Work online from top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.
            • The CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community.
            • Bachelor's degree is required to apply
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year.
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities. 
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            • SJU provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts
            • A Jesuit school with 8,415 students in all programs for 2016 grads &undergrads
            • Institutionally Accredited by the MSCHE and the AACSB (Haub School of Business)
            • 96% of 2016 graduates employed, pursuing graduate study or volunteering full time
            • Qualifying students can receive financial assistance with tuition costs
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Recognized as the largest university in the Chicago area, with 27,580 students and 15 colleges.
            • Listed as one of the top 200 research-funded institutions in the world, with more than $291 million research funds in FY 2013.
            • Proud to be a tobacco-free campus, prohibiting all forms of tobacco within campus boundaries.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Presents stimulating, thoughtful programs for students in every academic field
            • SACS accredited w/many accreditations per program & 14:1 teacher-student ratio
            • 7 colleges with dozens of majors & programs to choose from for undergrads & grads
            • Beautiful 248 acre campus with ¾ mile waterfront located in Jacksonville, FL
            • Named an “America’s Best College” in the south for 10+ years, US News & World Report
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Provides an exclusive Ashford Mobile app to keep students connected to the online classroom on the go.
            • Offers a business program in partnership and collaboration with Forbes magazine.
            • Offers several credit transfer and previous experience options for students who qualify.
            • Dedicated to fostering intellectual and personal growth since 1918.
            • Offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs in business, health, education, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits

            Inspired by the pioneering work of 19th-century educator and former Antioch President Horace Mann, Antioch University offers higher education that acknowledges the common good, prizes hands-on learning, and is inspired by a diverse academic community. We seek to instill in our students the knowledge and self-awareness to become lifelong learners, compassionate leaders, and world citizens.

            • Online Courses

            Mount Mercy University is a nationally recognized Catholic University that promises students of all diverse backgrounds – regardless of ages and faiths a challenging, practical education that inspires them to discover knowledge, build community and lead courageous lives.

            • Online Courses