Graduate school a possible investment

by James Tillison

In relation to financial gain possibilities, Wartburg College’s Wartburg Circuit did a study of undergraduate and graduate degrees and found many degrees would make nearly $10,000 more annually than those who stop after undergraduate school.

Graduate school offers students a chance to advance their education, increase their likelihood of future success in specific fields and put themselves above the crowd.

For some fields of study getting a masters degree, or any form of secondary education after a bachelors degree, is necessary such as in law or medicine. However, it is not entirely necessary in other fields, which can be determined by cost of graduate school and the average amount a worker can make in their field annually.

Some Simpson students are considering investing in a master’s degree.

Senior Mike Henry, currently studying math and physics, is planning to go to graduate school after graduating for a PhD in Physics. Henry said he has found during his time at Simpson that he enjoys researching physics and “…if you want to research physics, you get a Ph.D. in physics.”

Henry said he believes that going to graduate school is very important for what he wants to do saying it is the terminal degree in his field. However, he said he does feel that graduate school is not necessary for everyone.

“I think graduate school, like college, needs to be a calculated decision that’s not about putting off the inevitabilities of the adult world, but rather needs to be a financial decision with am I going to be able to afford going to grad school, am I going to get a return on my investment of going to graduate school. It also needs to be a calculated decision of am I going to want to dedicate the next five to six years of my life doing this,” said Henry.

Senior Carly Warner, majoring in psychology, is looking to get her masters in child clinical psychology.

“I can’t get the job I want without getting a higher degree,” said Warner.

She said she believes that graduate school is important to education because it allows a more specialized knowledge base and allows for a more specialized career.

Warner agrees with Henry that not everyone needs graduate school.

“I don’t think everyone needs to go to graduate school, it depends on what you want to do and how you want to fit into society,” said Warner.

Seniors are not the only ones considering graduate school, Nathan Schneider, a junior majoring in biology, is already planning on applying and hopefully attending medical school at DMU. Schneider said that it is a rather competitive process to get into medical school, but it is required to work in the medical field. Schneider said he would recommend graduate school for most students “…it gives them a better chance of getting higher positions in the fields they are hoping to go into.”

Graduate school has the possibility to enhance earnings in the working world, but students have to look at the necessity of the extra education and how much it will affect their earnings in comparison to the cost of attendance.

Students who are interested in learning about various graduate programs can attend the upcoming Simpson College graduate school fair.