August 07, 2015

A burning question, indeed: will a degree lead to a larger paycheck? Evidence points to the affirmative. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows salaries tend to go up with each level of degree earned, along with a corresponding decrease in unemployment rates.

So generally speaking, a degree can help you earn a bigger paycheck. And help keep you employed. Good news if you’re into statistics, but how does that actually affect you? Let’s dig deeper and explore a few questions that’ll help you understand how important an education is to your paycheck:  

  1. Will continuing my education help me move up in my field?
    Consider the field you work in – or aspire to move to – and the importance of holding an advanced degree. Do the managers, directors and executives that work above you hold an MBA? Or a Ph.D.? Would a higher degree help give you a competitive advantage to take on more responsibility? Or to move into a leadership role? Take time to evaluate the environment around you and weigh the importance of an advanced degree.
  2. Is my role in demand?
    The BLS is a great source for employment outlook projections. It’ll show you estimates for growth in your field so you can determine how competitive the market is. If there’s a lot of competition for jobs, a degree may provide an advantage if you’re switching employers or asking for a raise.
  3. How does the debt to income math add up?
    Don’t just evaluate your potential earnings; also consider the cost of a degree and how long it’ll take you to pay it off. If you’re taking out student loans, many recommend keeping payments at 10 to 15 percent of your income. Do the math and see if a potential salary increase is high enough to justify the cost of your degree over the next five to 10 years.

This should get you thinking about how a degree will impact your life. If you’ve got other questions, just fill out the form to the right and Regis University will put you in touch with an admissions counselor.