Graduate Studies: Are They Worth It?

The economy and world are changing. We all know robots will take our jobs and government will provide guaranteed incomes…but perhaps not just yet.

In the meantime, everyone owes it to themselves to obtain that special knowledge or those special skills that will translate into higher wages and lower probabilities of unemployment or underemployment (a term worth Googling).

But is graduate school still the best route? Some believe that education is undergoing a Reformation of sorts, and that university education is increasingly irrelevant.

The numbers, however, tell a different story.

In the United States, graduate education in the form of a professional degree, master’s or doctorate will earn you 15% more on average than a bachelor’s degree will.[1]

In Brazil, home to many of our clients, a graduate degree puts your income on a different order of magnitude. The average executive with a graduate degree earns 47% more than one without.[2]

These are huge numbers, and one can only imagine a graduate degree’s rate of return over time, even after paying off the five or six figures that it might cost. Put differently, the opportunity costs of not getting a graduate degree – especially if you have the ability and the finances to obtain one – are enormous.

[1]Unemployment Rates and Earnings By Educational Attainment”, US Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017).

[2] 54ª edição da Pesquisa Salarial, conduzida pela Catho Educação (2018).


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