Does Getting an Online Masters Degree Pay Off

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Last updated December 11, 2020

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October 19, 2020

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Earning a masters degree should lead to new professional opportunities that make more money and give you higher benefits. Some people, however, if the advantages of attending graduate school pay off once they enter start pursuing jobs. Before you decide, you should look at the cost of earning an online masters degree and the amount of money that you can earn after you get the degree.

Graduate schools charge a wide range of tuitions, so it makes sense to ask specific programs how much they charge before you decide whether to earn a masters degree. On average, you can expect to pay $30,000 to $40,000 per year to get a masters degree from a public, accredited college. High-tier schools may charge $100,000 or more.

Since masters programs usually last two years, tuition will cost most students about $75,000. Keep in mind that the tuition does not cover supplies and living expenses. Some students find that they need to borrow money to pay living expenses because they do not have enough time to work a job while completing the requirements for their masters degrees.

Earning an online masters degree could make graduate school less expensive. While some schools charge the same for online and in-person programs, others charge 10% to 20% less for online classes. Instead of paying $75,000, you could get your degree for $60,000.

Overall, people with masters degrees make about $17,000 more per year than people with bachelors degrees.

Professionals with masters degrees can earn quite a bit more or less depending on their jobs. Some of the biggest raises go to software engineers, financial advisors, business managers, and database administrators.

Before you enroll in graduate school, look at the average pay of people in your profession. If an online masters degree doesn’t give you a big raise, you may not need to earn another degree.

Assuming that you get the average $17,000, you can expect to pay off your online masters degree pretty quickly. With that raise, you can make up for your graduate school tuition within less than four years. If you borrowed money to pay your tuition, you might need more time because of the interest. Regardless, it shouldn’t take you longer than five years to repay your debt.

It makes sense for many people to earn online masters degrees because they will quickly make enough money to pay for the expense. Some jobs don’t value graduate school as much, though, so you may not benefit much from earning a degree.

Perhaps most importantly, you need to make sure that you join an accredited online masters degree program that employers will take seriously. A degree from an unaccredited college will not help you move your career forward.

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