Is A Graduate Degree Useful?

Following up on Monday”s post (Harvard midlifer”s reflect on school), today”s question is “What

does a graduate degree do for you”? Many college graduates wonder whether it is worth the time and money to get a graduate degree. I understand – the cos

t is outrageous. This decision certainly depends on many factors, most important being the field you wish to enter.

Here are some thoughts from the 1986 class of Harvard’s MBA program. Granted, this is a gold standard program but the observations that alums made 25 after graduation (when they have used their degrees) is informative.

What did an MBA from Harvard give you?

1. 28% of the alums said it was the “ongoing professional credential” of the degree

2. 22% said it was “placement in a job after school”

3. 21% said it was mainly the “education.”

4. 13% believed the degree’s primary benefit was “personal self-confidence”

5. 10% identified “classmates for social reasons”

6. 6% said the “network of alumni professionally.”

7. 3% said it was “something to drop into cocktail party conversations.”

I bet that many people in many fields from many schools would say similar things (including psychologists). If you have similar or different ideas, please chime in.


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