Is an advanced degree still a key to prosperity?

By Emily Halgrimson

Not long ago completion of an advanced degree was assumed to lead to a higher wage, but this isn’t always the case today.

With jobs hard to come by in today’s economy, lately there’s been an influx of people headed back to school for the piece of paper they feel will eventually lead to that coveted high-paying job.

Unfortunately for them, some companies are bypassing the well qualified but expensive employee for less expensive, less educated workers who they can train on the job. Companies are also realizing the benefits of hiring people with real world job training over academic excellence.

In her story “Valuing Another Degree” on, Jonnelle Marte uses the example of entry-level teachers with master’s degrees, often having a harder time finding a job than those with bachelor’s degrees because of the higher wages expected by teachers with master’s degrees.

For some advanced degree candidates, the cost of school doesn’t seem worth the benefits now. With the average advanced degree costing more than $50,000 to acquire, many out of work people are not interested in piling on more debt, especially with no promise of a job on the other side. In some cases a master’s degree may make sense, but not if you’re just out to delay the inevitable and difficult task we all face at some point in our lives, the job search.

Question: How important is a job candidate’s education in your decision whether or not to hire them?

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4 thoughts on “Is an advanced degree still a key to prosperity?

  1. Emily

    If I wanted to learn for learning’s sake, I definitely wouldn’t shell out $50,000… Ouch.

  2. Emily

    Abdul, my point is that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to get a good education. And I would argue that most people who do spend a lot of money are doing it for a piece of paper with a certain school name on it, and most likely, not for the sake of learning.


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