Asking if going back to school is worth it is similar to asking if you should invest in a new business venture. It might be—it might not be—but ultimately, that’s not a concise enough question. Should you invest all of your life savings into your friend’s startup candle brand? Possibly, but your chances of seeing a return on that are likely on the low side. Should you buy a house when you have savings to repair it and the market is low? Probably! That is an example of an investment that has a likely high rate of return.
In general, college is essentially a business investment. If someone came to you with a business proposal and wanted you to take out a loan and invest $40,000, would you do it? Well, that’s what college is—an investment with a potential opportunity. Degrees and other business ventures can have great lifelong returns. But they have to be calculated.
If you get a degree, you’re investing in yourself – YOU are the business venture! Are you ready to take that seriously? Do you have a plan AFTER college?
Some people may tell you that “it doesn’t matter what degree you get as long as you have one!” That advice may have been more true in the past, but with shifting job markets, the supply/demand ratio has changed depending on the field a student is aiming for.
According to The Journal Of Higher Education, a large number of children from the “baby boom” are reaching traditional “college-going” age. An increasing proportion of adults and college-age youth acquiring higher education degrees have resulted in two outcomes: a higher average education level of the American population, and a greatly increased proportion of college graduates in the U.S labor force.
So what does this mean for continued education?
It means that having a degree isn’t necessarily unique. Most employers are looking for skills that are specific and focusing on solving their needs. For instance, getting a degree in “marketing” may not immediately lead to job placement, but marketing with an emphasis on writing and communication might lead to jobs in journalism, communications or media.
A quality degree path should have a goal in sight!
That leads to the final point:
If you get a degree, you are investing in yourself. Are you ready to take yourself seriously as a business investment.
For instance, let’s look at the job outlook for a Bachelor Of Science In Nursing. PayScale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics show us the following data:
The median salary of a nurse with a BSN is $83,000 according to Payscale.com (as of 2020), while the median salary of all RNs is $64,000.
Job prospects for nurses are projected to grow at about 12% from 2018-2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many hospitals don’t just favor applicants with a bachelor’s in nursing – some are starting to require it for all nurses.
Yes, graduate degree programs can be worth it! But it’s important to do the math and find out about ACTUAL outcomes once you’re in the workforce.
If you want to talk to someone who specializes in making sure students have a clear path, make sure to give our admissions director a call!