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This tool will help you figure out if college or grad school will pay off

This tool will help you figure out if college or grad school will pay off
[Photo: Pexels/Pixabay]

College is expensive and grad school is, too, and sometimes it’s hard to say whether all that accumulated debt will actually pay off when it comes to making more money. Sure, knowledge is power, but earning potential is the main reason people go to school, right?

If you’ve ever wondered about the specific return on investment (ROI) of the education process, Zippia has put together a tool that helps break it down for each step up the educational ladder—including high school, bachelor’s, master’s, and professional degrees.

Sadly for anyone who wanted an easy reason to pass on grad school, the ROI from one level of education to the next is pretty substantial. The most glaring is when someone with a bachelor’s degree commits to a professional degree (yes, that means law school), which can translate to a 95% increase in lifetime earnings, on average. That’s a cool $3.1 million, and a bump to a whole new tax bracket.

If you don’t want to go grad school and accumulate the crippling debt that goes with it, no judgment. Luckily, there’s an average increase in lifetime earnings of 91.5% for going from a high school degree to a bachelor’s, which is worth $1.5 million.

Finishing high school really helps your career earnings, with a bigger percentage increase than getting a master’s after college. If you finished high school, consider getting an associate degree, because the ROI is better than getting an MD after college, although you won’t get the sweet doctor’s license plates.

Of course, the ROI isn’t the same for everyone. It differs with factors like age, location, and opportunities. Play around with the tool and see if more education will pay off for you.

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