Even with a $37,000 a year price tag, the number of students in the Master of Arts program at the University of Chicago has quadrupled in less than 20 years, according to a report in the New York Times
An associate dean of the university, John J. MacAloon, says this is good news for the school and the students. “It’s an expensive degree, but students have calculated how fast they get their investment back....And it is beneficial for the university because there is a lot of tuition income to be had.”
Students at other universities are finding that the money is well spent. Craig Nelson completed his two-year master’s program in science technology and environmental policy at the University of Minnesota.
Now, he works in regulatory affairs at the 3M Company. “Without the degree, I wouldn’t have the job,” he said. “So even though I’ll be paying the loan for 10 years, it was a good move for me.”
In California, the state university system has added many new applied master’s degrees and is expanding its master’s of business administration programs. Gary W. Reichard, the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for the California system explained how it pays off for the schools too, “...because M.B.A.’s can offer tremendous salary boosts down the road, we can charge higher tuitions to students.”
Many university provosts say a graduate education can be more expensive to provide than an undergraduate degree, merely because class sizes are usually smaller in graduate courses. But for universities that already have established doctoral programs, adding paying master’s students to the mix means they get a bump in tuition dollars without a heavy outlay of resources.
Additional savings to colleges come from the fact that many Master's program students don't live on campus, thereby saving dormitories and dining hall expenses.
What about your career field? Would a Master's degree help you earn more or help you progress up the career ladder? Is a Master's degree on your list of things to accomplish? Or have you completed your degree and are now reaping the benefits of the education? It would be interesting to share details on a variety of career fields encompassed by the readers and contributors of DJ.