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What Are the Benefits of Going to Grad School?

Nathan Wilgeroth / Abound: Grad School »

If you’re considering graduate school, you likely already see the value in furthering your education. There are so many different types of programs to choose from—on-campus, online, or blended locations with styles ranging from coursework and projects to coursework and thesis presentations. Previously, we’ve outlined nine unique reasons to earn a Master’s degree. But now we want to dive a little deeper into the impact can have on your life—both professionally and personally. 

Professional Benefits

  • Increased Salary
    • There’s no reason to beat around the bush—your earning potential as a graduate-educated professional will very likely be higher than that of someone whose education concluded with a bachelor’s degree. 
    • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “…the more you learn, the more you earn.” A working professional with a master’s degree could potentially make an annual $11,000 more than one with a bachelor’s. If you go on to earn your doctorate, you open up the door to an additional $27,000 more in annual salary. 
  • Career Advancement
    • If you’re looking to move up in your career, gaining additional skills through a graduate program might give you a competitive edge over someone with an equal amount of experience but fewer years of education under their belt.
    • According to, “Thirty-three percent [of employers] are hiring workers with master’s degrees for positions that had been primarily held by those with four-year degrees…” Any way you look at it, there’s no downside to holding a graduate degree; more opportunities present themselves when you further your education.
  • Employment Opportunities
    • If you think it might be time to switch gears and change professions, it is helpful to know that a number of industries are now looking for higher-educated workers. While you shouldn’t choose a career based solely on earning potential or the possibility of other doors opening, it’s important to do your research and gather all the information you can.
    • Each of the fast-growing careers listed here requires a graduate degree. And while many professions require experience in a field, you might not even have to have worked in a field if you earn a degree in a relevant subject. Having the option, should you need it, is definitely a plus! 
  • Networking
    • In graduate school, you will learn alongside a smaller group of students and work more closely with your professors, allowing you to form relationships that can help you thrive in your field. You’ll also have greater access to research or apprenticeship opportunities, and you might even find a post-graduate job!

Personal Benefits

  • Become a Lifelong Learner
    • As culture and technology continue to progress, it is important for us to take the appropriate steps to keep up. To be a lifelong learner means to strive constantly for the mastery of new skills, and attending graduate school is a clear way to direct that pursuit of knowledge. Not only will you become an expert in a particular field, but you will also be introduced to viewpoints and opinions that might be different from yours. This kind of exposure is beneficial to both professional and personal improvement. 
  • Personal Accomplishment
    • Earning your graduate degree is a serious confidence-booster. When you are able to prove your knowledge and the ability to finish what you start with your degree, there can be no doubt in your skills, understanding, and dedication. Holding a master’s degree or higher will give you a sense of accomplishment and pride that will last a lifetime.  
  • Lifestyle Changes
    • As we’ve discussed above, earning a graduate degree will very likely mean an increase in earning potential, which could translate, of course, to more financial freedom. You may have heard the saying, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” That’s true, but a higher paycheck makes it easier to get out of debt, save for an emergency, and live with the ability to support your family comfortably. Whatever your needs or desires for the future, a graduate degree’s potential comes with the possible funding for your lifestyle changes.

Choosing to pursue a graduate degree is not a decision you will want to make lightly. But once you decide on that path and figure out how to make room for it in your life, you will not regret it. The professional and personal benefits to earning a graduate degree will make the investment in your future worthwhile. 

Wondering where to start? The schools you can find through Abound: Grad School have all gotten a seal of approval from our team of experts—we’re here to help you every step of the way!

More Helpful Guides:

How to Find the Right Graduate School

What is Grad School?

How to Improve Your Undergraduate GPA after Graduating College

7 Tips to Help You Balance School and Work

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