Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join us as we talk about…

In this week’s episode…

  • You’ll learn understand the ROI of a degree
  • Next, you’ll learn that statistics show the earning power increases significantly with a higher education degree
  • Finally, you’ll learn education of any kind is an investment in yourself, your future, and your potential

In today’s fast-paced job market, pursuing a degree, especially a higher education degree, often comes with a substantial financial investment. This investment could be initial tuition early on, or it could be a loss in terms of opportunity cost.

For example, someone who stays in academia for five more years to get an advanced degree when they could be making $120,000/year in a great corporate job is losing $10,000 a month in opportunity cost. A faculty member who is making $70,000 a year when they could be making $200,000 is losing $130,000/year in opportunity cost. On and on.

Either way, the question on many academics’ minds is, “Is it worth it?” The answer lies in understanding the Return on Investment (ROI) of a degree and the ROI of learning how to properly execute a job search for a top skilled job, or white collar job.

Let’s explore the tangible benefits of investing in education and the long-term value it can bring through higher-paying job opportunities, starting with the initial investment of tuition and more. Before we dive into the ROI, it’s important to acknowledge that education typically comes with upfront costs, including tuition, textbooks, and living expenses. Many students take out loans to finance their education, which can lead to significant debt upon graduation.

The true ROI of education becomes evident when you consider the potential for increased earning power. Statistics consistently show that individuals with higher and higher education degrees tend to earn more over their lifetimes compared to those with lower level degrees or just a high school diploma. But, this is only consistently true once the person in question gets out of academia and into a corporate career.

This means that you have to leverage your highest level degree, in particular the transferable skills you gained when you got your degree, to get hired into a corporate career. My point? The degree itself, any degree, is not enough. A degree coupled with a strong understanding of how to execute a job search outside of academia often accelerates career advancement, leading to better starting roles, more promotions and higher-paying roles again and again.

More than this, during economic downturns, individuals with degrees tend to have greater job security and are less susceptible to layoffs. Their diverse skill sets make them adaptable to changing job markets. But again, you have to get hired in the first place.

To illustrate the ROI of a degree, let’s consider an example: Suppose you’re making $30,000 as a graduate student. You invest $10,000 in executive coaching to learn how to get hired into a top corporate career. Your degree and your expert job search strategy leads to securing a job making $140,000 a year – recurring. And let’s say you get a prototypical, 10% or $14,000 signing bonus. The result on your investments? $110,000 recurring. Over the course of 20 years, assuming steady salary increases and career growth, you could potentially earn $1 million more than your friend who did not leverage their degree or get training they needed to get hired into a top career outside of academia.

This substantial earning differential demonstrates the long-term value of your educational investments. In the end, education of any kind is an investment in yourself, your future, and your potential. While the upfront costs may seem daunting, the long-term ROI is often substantial.

It’s not just about securing a higher-paying job; it’s about acquiring knowledge, skills, and experiences that can enrich your life in countless ways.

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