Grad Degrees that Lead to Jobs

Author: Linda Abraham
Published: December 27, 2012 at 7:09 am

Where are the headlines? Where are the screaming press releases? The talking heads proclaiming opportunity?

Right here folks:

One-Year Grad Programs See Sharp Rise in Recruiter Interest

One-year specialized masters programs in business have seen a 30+% increase in recruiter interest per GMAC‘s 2012 Year-end Poll of Employers. At a time when recruiter interest in people with a bachelor’s degree has actually declined slightly, specialized business masters programs are increasingly viable and appealing options for college graduates according to a survey of 200+ employers conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council.

  Percentage Increase in 2012 Hiring

Who are these programs for?

Perhaps someone like you, if you:

  • Are currently a hard science major, but not too keen on spending your working life chained to a lab bench. And you find that business intrigues you.
  • Studied communications, but are less than thrilled with a starting average salary of $42,286* and are attracted to commerce as well as communications.
  • Thought you would like to be a doctor, but organic chemistry and molecular genetics clobbered your GPA while the world of medical devices has captured your imagination and passion.  
  • Studied political science because you liked it and had some vague notion of becoming a lawyer, but the current legal job market necessitates a Plan B.  

And What About ROI?
It’s great that recruiters are looking to hire more of these degree-holders, but is the education worth the cost? That depends. Let’s take a look at a few salary figures for college grads in specific fields:

 Sample Average Salaries for 2012 College Grads

Let’s also examine a few specialized masters programs and average salaries for those grads:2012 Select Average Specialized MS salaries

Obviously, there is variability here, and the specifics matter. You as an individual need to weigh your tuition and opportunity cost (the earnings you lose by not working for a year) against the anticipated increase in earnings associated with your particular specialized masters. You should also consider the value of pursuing a career you enjoy.  

If the average cost of tuition is $50K and the opportunity cost is let’s say $45K, then your educational investment is $95K. 

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Linda Abraham

Linda Abraham, author of MBA Admission for Smarties, founded in 1994. Since then she has advised thousands of successful applicants to over 450 graduate and professional programs. She has written and lectured widely on admission …

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