It’s that time of year again—the time where we sit and ponder if continuing an education is worth the time and money. College courses are expensive—will you get a return on your investment? Did you hate school, and you dread the thought of studying and taking tests again? You are not alone. The decision to enroll in continued education courses is not an easy one. Whether or not to continue your education is a very personal choice, and it should be based on your unique career goals, experiences, and lifestyle. Continued education is not a one-size fits all, and it’s important for you to consider the costs vs. benefits for yourself personally.

It is true that graduate degrees often improve your chances at promotions, and can help you qualify to receive  higher wages. Specialized training is often required to qualify for high paying jobs. On average, those with a master’s degree earn at about $17k more a year than those with a bachelor’s degree according to “The Economic Value of College Majors,” a 2015 study by Georgetown University. Depending on your field of choice, it can increase your earnings by even more. However, if you’re among the majority of students who need to repay loans, you may want to do your own research within your specific industry to see if the costs will offset the tuition fees. If you already have a full time job, ask your employer if they can help with some of the tuition costs; oftentimes employers often reimbursement options if your degree is related to your current field of work. Make sure to study up on the job you’re hoping for and see what the requirements for the position are and what potential salary ranges will be.

Continuing your education can open doors for you that you never even considered. The people that you meet in classes, or even your professors can help present opportunities in the business world. Attending college events, courses, and conferences allow you to network with other people in your field. Consider that your education is something that no one can take away from you. You will have a feeling of accomplishment when you earn an advanced degree. Remember that minorities and women were not always allowed to continue their education in this country. Education is a right that we now all can enjoy, so remember not to take it for granted. When you go back to school, you are investing in yourself, and that is never money wasted. You are worth it!

At the end of the day, a graduate degree can increase your chances at a higher paying job, ensure you are up to date on industry technology and trends, improve your critical thinking skills, give you a feeling of personal accomplishment, and open doors for you to network. When you are well-educated, well-rounded, and confident in your abilities, you naturally increase your profitability and expose yourself to more career possibilities. Whether you make the personal choice to obtain your higher education or not, we are here help you showcase your achievements on your resume. Check out the many professional services we offer to help you get ahead in your career.

VIDEO: Is Continuing Education right for you?