Magazine article University Business

Study: Master's Degree ROI

Magazine article University Business

Study: Master's Degree ROI

Article excerpt

Despite growth in the number of graduate degrees conferred, students have lacked vital information on the economic value of an advanced degree.

A recent American Enterprise Institute report uses new data from Colorado, Florida and Texas to show that future earnings depend on the field of study. The highest-paid graduates earned master's degrees in fields such as business, information technology, engineering or real estate. Master's graduates in areas such as philosophy, art and early childhood education have the lowest median incomes--often less than graduates with bachelor's or even associate degrees in more lucrative fields.

Receiving a graduate degree in a field that does not reward the significant expense with a corresponding rise in wages is a poor return on investment, says AEI visiting scholar Mark Schneider, who authored the report, "The Master's as the New Bachelor's Degree: In Search of the Labor Market Payoff." States have a responsibility to provide data that informs students and colleges about "wage outcomes" of graduate programs, he adds.

"The problem is everyone thinks they are going to beat the odds," says Schneider, who is vice president and an institute fellow at American Institutes for Research. …

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