Is a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Worth the Time and Money?

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Any business professional in the human resources field who wants to advance their career will ponder whether or not they should spend the time or money earning a master’s in human resources. As a seasoned professional, you always need to balance the financial and opportunity costs associated with earning a graduate degree and then compare these costs to the returns before you make any decisions. If it would take an extended period of time to earn the money it will take to pay for the cost of your degree, it might be justified to say that earning the advanced degree was not a wise investment. Read on, and learn more about graduate human resources degrees so that you can determine if you will get a return on your investment.

What is the Cost of a Master’s Degree in Human Resources?

The cost of a master’s degree majoring in any area of study depends on the cost of the school you want to attend. According a national postsecondary student aid study, the average student who decided to spend an additional two years in school studying advanced curriculum accumulated $37,000 in student debt. Programs in areas where there is a higher cost of living tend to be much more expensive than this average.

Monetary Costs vs. Opportunity Costs

You will need to review the cost of the potential human resource programs that you would like to attend and add in the cost of lodging, textbooks, parking, and any other costs that can add up. Once you do this, you will have the true monetary cost of your masters degree. In addition to the monetary cost, you have to consider what your time is worth and what opportunities you might miss out on while you study. If you are a full-time graduate student, finding the time to work or have a social life can be nearly impossible. If you cannot work while you study, you are missing out on an income and may be missing out on the opportunity to get professional experience in human resources. It is important that you know all of the costs before you just assume what you are spending out of pocket are the only costs that need to be factored in.

What Is the Average Salary Following Graduation?

To determine if the investment is going to pay off in the long run, you should look into the differences between salaries of human resource professionals with bachelor’s degrees and human resource professionals with master’s degrees. According to data recovered by the Census Bureau, the median salary of professionals with master’s degrees is nearly 25 percent higher than the median salary of those with a bachelor’s.

How much more that you make depends on what position you hold. If you continue to be an human resources manager with your master’s, you will not earn much more than a fellow manager with a bachelor’s. If you move up and become a director or a vice president of human resources, however, you can earn significantly more money and recoup the cost of the degree in just a few years.

The answer about the worth of a master’s degree in human resources is not a simple one. You have to consider how much you plan to spend on graduate school and then what your career goals are. If you weigh the costs and the benefits, you can truly decide if that master’s in human resources will take you where you want to go without driving you into long-term debt.

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