During the last three years, a wave of my colleagues rushed back to school — a few pursued a different undergraduate diploma while most sought out master’s degrees.
But one friend did the math for an MBA program that runs $42,000 a year, realizing there was no guarantee he’d both recoup that money plus the hit he’d take from starting over in a new field. Another guy I know went through med school only to realize later he wanted to be a teacher. He’ll be paying off his loans for the rest of his life.
This begs the question, which graduate degrees give you the best ROI? Most grad or professional degrees cost substantially more than undergraduate programs, so the risk is higher, but the payout could be tremendous.
New hires of law-firm associates, which plummeted 40 percent in 2009 from the previous year, are creeping back up. More than 87 percent of law students who participated in law-firm summer programs were offered jobs in 2010, an 18 percent bump over 2009, according to the National Association for Law Placement. Still, hiring remains significantly below pre-recession levels, and competition for jobs will be fierce as law schools continue to churn out more lawyers than the market can bear.
Was the ROI on your graduate degree worth it? Which grad schools truly give you the most bang for your buck — both in the metro area and across the country?
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter