financial aidAfter you finish with your undergraduate degree, or even if you are close to finishing it, you might be considering going to graduate school to get your master’s degree. While you might think this makes perfect sense, it is worth the time to take a moment and reflect on whether or not the additional schooling will pay off in the long run. By this I mean, will the money you earn after receiving the degree outweigh the cost for getting it in the first place? This can be a difficult question to answer. Below are five graduate degrees that generally pay off in the long run.

Nurse Anesthesia

Currently there is a shortage of nurse anesthetists, so job growth is expected to continue for this position. One you have the degree, the pay scale ranges from $75,000 up to over $150,000 making it well worth the cost of the degree.


Even without an advanced degree, engineers earn a healthy living. It really doesn’t matter what area of engineering you specialize in either as most engineers that earn a graduate degree surpass $100,000 in annual earnings.


The cost for getting your master’s degree in psychiatry is burdensome because you have to go to medical school to get this degree. Right off the bat, you are looking at approaching $100,000 as the cost for earning this degree alone. But the income you could potentially make outweigh the initial capital investment. Salaries climb from $75,000 upwards to $200,000 annually.

Computer Science

There is certainly no shortage in the need for those that have advanced degrees when it comes to computers. Getting your advanced degree in this field won’t set you back as much as a psychiatrist, so that is certainly a plus. Earnings aren’t as high either, however those computer science majors with advanced degrees can expect to earn roughly $100,000 per year.


The MBA is the go-to business degree. Over the past few years, it seems as though everyone has been going back to school to get theirs, mainly because you need not have studied business in undergraduate school in order to attain this degree. Earnings for those with an MBA range between $60,000 and $300,000.

Final Thoughts

Don’t be fooled by these numbers. Make certain you do your research to see if you can expect to earn the salaries listed here. Remember these are averages, so many people earn less and some earn more. Don’t rush off to get your graduate degree thinking once you have it, you’ll be earning six figures. It doesn’t work that way. Just ask most of the people that did this the past few years.

Education is a great thing and we should strive to always be learning. But don’t do it simply for the fact that you could earn more. Make certain that it is what you truly want to do and that you will earn more than you pay to get the degree. There is no point in getting the degree if you end up deciding it isn’t even the field you want to work in. Do your research and then decide which is the right course of action for you. You may find that it isnít worth it to get the advanced degree and there is nothing wrong with that.