Is Getting Your Masters Really Worth It?

Have you thought about going back to school to get your Masters or MBA but aren’t sure it’s worth the cost?

Going back to school is a big decision, not only for your finances but also the amount of time required. Before making this big commitment, start evaluating these three areas of your life.

Understand Where You Are in Life

It’s important to gain clarity and understand how this decision will impact all other areas of your life. Aside from the finances, ask yourself…

  • Is this the right time in my life to back to school? How will my family help or support my decision?
  • What am I trying to accomplish? Advance in my field, earn more money or eventually start a business?
  • Will I need to switch to part-time or quit my job entirely? Is any travel needed?
  • What will my schedule look like? Will I have time on nights and weekends to study and prepare for my courses?

If you’re able to answer these questions and think additional education will help your future goals, it’s time to start thinking about the finances.

How Much Does It Cost?

According to FinAid.org, “The average cost of master’s degree for students is between $30,000 and $120,000.” The costs vary depending on the University and masters program. The average cost of an MBA is around $40,000. But other programs, for example Harvard, can range closer to $120,000.

How Do You Finance Going Back to School?

The overwhelming majority of students pay for continued education using student loans. The two main types of loans are subsidized and unsubsidized student loans. Subsidized loans do not charge interest while you are enrolled and must begin payments upon graduation.

Another option is to see if your current employer offers any type of tuition reimbursement. Some employers will offer to pay a fixed amount toward a new degree, specialized degree or certificate. The last option is to pay for tuition upfront.

What’s the Payoff of an MBA?

While the costs of going back to school are high, there can be a significant payoff depending on your industry. Some industries, however, might not be worth the investment. Make sure you are clear on how continued education will help you and not leave you financially crunched.

The one thing you can’t measure from going back to school is growing your professional network. Attending school with other working adults will give you the chance to meet new people and potential for more career opportunities in the future.

Is There an Alternative to Going Back to School?

Yes, you can always earn certificates, take online courses, or invest in self-education. The most successful people in the world are the most active learners. It’s the reason Warren Buffet still reads 5-6 hours per day and Bill Gates reads one book per week.

If going back to school doesn’t feel like an amazing payoff, of both your time and money, don’t do it. You need to be 100% committed if you choose to go back to school.

Whatever you decide make sure that you understand the importance of continually learning. The financial rewards can be amazing. Remember as legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “Formal education can make you a living, but self-education can make you a fortune.”

 

Bayntree Wealth Advisors, located in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management. The Bayntree team specializes in all aspects of financial health, including retirement planning, risk management, investment advice, tax strategies, estate planning and insurance.

Bayntree does not provide specific legal or tax advice. Please consult with your tax advisor or legal professional for guidance with your individual situation

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