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Home » Grad School Math: Which Degrees Are Worth the Debt

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Grad School Math: Which Degrees Are Worth the Debt

Source: dailyfinance.com Author: Bruce Watson READ FULL ARTICLE AT dailyfinance.com

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With unemployment high and wages stagnant, now's a rough time to be entering the job market.

Historically, when an unwelcoming economy awaits, graduating college students tend to run for grad school. But the monetary value of an advanced degree varies greatly depending on major, school, and how much debt you take on to get it.






A forthcoming article in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics outlines the dangers of starting a career during an economic downturn. According to the study's authors, it can take up to 10 years for high-level workers entering the job market in a recession to narrow the wage gap between themselves and their peers who entered in better times. As for less-skilled workers, their earnings "can be permanently affected by cyclical downgrading" -- in other words, a weak start on wages can lead to a lifelong disadvantage.

For most people, the best move is to delay entry into the job market until the economy is stronger and workers are in higher demand. And when it comes to orchestrating that delay, few methods are better than graduate school: Not only does an advanced degree improve employability, but it can also have a huge effect on earnings. In fact, themedian salary for someone with an advanced degree is $73,738 -- over $13,000 more than the average salary for someone with only a bachelor's degree. 

But not all degrees are created equal. Based on an analysis of Census data, Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce determined that the payoff from a graduate degree can vary wildly, from a 1% salary bump to a 190% wage explosion. And the degrees that deliver most bang for the education buck may surprise you. 

On the low end of the scale, the worst graduate major for salary improvement is meteorology, which only improved wage prospects by 1%. Only marginally better were...

Full article: Grad School Math: Which Degrees Are Worth the Debt

More About: Education Degree

Dec 29 2011 submitted by Jason Edwards

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