Why Now Is A Great Time To Upskill With A Graduate Degree

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Getting a graduate degree can feel daunting. Not only does it take 2-3 more years of homework and lectures, but it also involves tens of thousands of dollars. You don’t make that decision lightly. But while the barrier to entry can feel steep, the rewards waiting for you on the other side of your degree are great. 

People with graduate degrees make more money. They improve their skills considerably, and they experience a much wider range of opportunities than people with just an undergraduate degree. In this article, we look at why getting your graduate degree is a great idea, and how you can do it sensibly. 

Making The Choice 

When making career decisions it is good to view the situation in terms of value. What is the ROI for getting your graduate degree? The program will cost between $40-60K on average— assuming you don’t need boarding. 

Can you be certain that your new degree will net you that much in additional income? Experts say it takes about 12 years for a degree to become profitable. Obviously, that doesn’t mean it will take you twelve years to make $60K. It does mean that it might take twelve years to make $60K MORE than you would have made without the additional degree. 

This means that the earlier you are in your career, the more worthwhile your graduate degree will ultimately be. 

But that doesn’t mean older applicants needn’t apply. There are many paths toward graduate school that can help keep the costs down. Scholarships. Grants. Work provided incentives. Talk to your current employer about what sort of resources they provide employees who want to go back to school. 

Some employers help with tuition assistance. Others may pay for your entire degree. The less you pay, the better your ROI. 

Also, keep in mind that the value proposition for getting any degree is not strictly limited to salary increases. Other benefits can improve the quality of your professional life. Below, we take a look at some of the other reasons why now is a great time to upskill with a graduate degree

More Leverage At Work 

Getting your graduate degree will make you a valuable commodity at work. It will allow you to negotiate for a better salary, and also make you a stronger candidate for various leadership opportunities. Of course, you shouldn’t necessarily expect opportunities to fall in your lap the moment you get your graduation cap. 

Most of the time, you will need to coax out additional benefits through negotiation. Once you’ve gotten your degree, sit down with your employer and discuss whatever additional benefit you are hoping to acquire. 

For workplace negotiations, it is important to understand the power dynamic. Most employers want people with graduate degrees because they have more skills and knowledge. That is a valuable thing. 

Your boss will also want to retain you as an employee independent of any other qualifications because it is difficult to hire and train new people. 

That gives you two points of leverage. You may have additional considerations to leverage. For example, if you haven’t gotten a raise in three years, that would be a compelling point to raise at the meeting. 

Your boss also has negotiating power. For one thing, they have the option to hire someone new and cheaper— even if doing so would be a headache. They might decide that the cost of onboarding a new hire is a more sensible long-term expense than giving you a hearty raise. 

They also will operate on the (probably accurate) assumption that you do not actually want to quit your job. 

Go into the meeting having researched what people with your qualifications usually make. If you can get yourself an alternative job offer, that will be a powerful negotiation point in your favor. Ask your boss to match— or even beat the offer. Just be ready to move to a new opportunity if they decline. 

Professional Networking 

Graduate school introduces you to a wide community of like-minded individuals. Depending on the program you choose, you’ll not only interact with fellow students but possibly also with business leaders in your community. 

This makes graduate school a great place to establish connections that you otherwise wouldn’t have acquired. Not only does having friends in high places open the door to future employment opportunities but it can also make you more effective at your current job. It is so much easier to collaborate with people when you know and trust them. 


Upskilling is all about refreshing and expanding your professional knowledge. Graduate school accomplishes this in multiple ways. First of all, if you haven’t been to school in a few years, there will most likely be developments relating to your career field that weren’t covered in your undergraduate program. 

Graduate school will also take a much deeper look at concepts you learned about as an undergraduate. It is a great way to learn more about core job skills that legitimately improve the way you work. 

You should, however, note that upskilling is not a one-time thing. It is something you should do routinely throughout the course of your career. Obviously, this does not mean that you should get 4-5 graduate degrees. 

Sometimes, you can upskill through seminars, skill boot camps, or standalone classes. Graduate school should be used as an upskilling strategy only when you are trying to acquire marketable skills that will further your career opportunities. 

Make Yourself A Hot Commodity 

People with graduate degrees that are relevant to their field have a much easier time finding high- paying jobs than people who do not. If you aren’t finding traction at your current job, getting a graduate degree is a great way to widen your horizons. 

Don’t let your career stagnate. With routine upskilling, you can improve your leverage, boost your qualifications, and open the door to exciting opportunities that never would have otherwise been possible. Getting an advanced degree is hard, but it’s well worth the opportunities that it yields.

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