In a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, a question is raised about whether or not a bachelor’s degree is enough to get a well-paying job in today’s world. The author, Jeffrey Selingo, said he believes that the value of the diploma has significantly decreased.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the year 2013, 4.5 percent of those aged 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree are unemployed. It’s the highest mark our nation has ever seen. The average student debt has climbed to $29,400, which is up nearly $6,000 from 2008. With college costs seemingly climbing by the day, one has to think hard about pursuing a graduate degree.
“It really all depends on what someone’s career goals are,” business professor David Befus said. “If working in a small-town bank, for example, is your goal, then you probably won’t need to pursue an M.B.A. But if you want to work in a big-city bank, such as Chicago, an M.B.A. is almost absolutely required.”
Although some eager college graduates look to get into a master’s program as quickly as possible, Befus said that he would proceed with caution.
“The better graduate programs require experience first before enrolling in the program,” Befus said. “For me, I worked for a few years before getting into the University of Michigan’s M.B.A. program.”
Although graduate degrees are often appropriate for someone in the business field, there are other majors in which they may not share the same practicality. However, art/design major, Jeriah Dunk, said he sees benefits in having a graduate degree.
“More and more people are graduating, and having just a bachelor’s degree is becoming less and less important,” Dunk said. “You can still get a job with a bachelor’s degree, but having a master’s degree will make you much more marketable.”
Dunk said he plans on entering a motion graphics or 3-D graphics program to expand his artistic skills after a few years of practical job experience.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for those who don’t wish to attend graduate school. NW boasts a 95 percent job placement rate within six months of graduation. Additionally, Sioux County has an extremely low unemployment rate of 3.2 percent compared to the national 6.7 percent.