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Earning an advanced degree can be a tremendous career booster for your homeschool student. Enrolling in medical school, law school, or graduate school to pursue a post-graduate or professional degree could set your student up for success.

An advanced degree can open many doors of opportunity for your student, and in some cases, has the potential to help them earn upward of six figures after college. Through careers in medicine, law, engineering, aerospace, and many others, your student has the chance to make a positive and far-reaching impact on the world.

So, is it worth it for your student to pursue an advanced degree in college? Let’s look at a few important considerations he or she needs to keep in mind while making the decision.

1. Extra time spent in school

It takes two to four years to earn an undergraduate degree, depending on what your student chooses to study. An advanced degree takes significantly longer than the initial degree.

Here’s a quick snapshot of how long it takes to earn certain common post-graduate degrees:

  • Law: 3 years
  • Master’s degree: up to 2 years
  • Medicine: 4 years plus residency (up to 7 additional years)
  • Nurse Practitioner: 2 to 4 years
  • Ph.D.: 8 years, on average, after earning a Master’s

Your student will want to consider the amount of time it takes to earn a chosen degree. While many advanced degrees are worth the time and effort required, some are not—and it will be important to know which degrees are the most lucrative.

2. Expense

Depending on the degree your student chooses, post-graduate education costs significantly more than an undergraduate degree. Graduate degrees can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The school your student attends and any name recognition associated with it
  • The degree your student is pursuing (for example, a Ph.D. costs more than a master’s degree)
  • The location of your student’s college

Thankfully, certain financial aid programs, such as getting a graduate assistantship, are available to some students to lighten the financial burden.

3. Return on investment (ROI)

Graduate school will likely leave your student with a significant amount of student loan debt. Because of this, it’s important that they focus on a course of study in a lucrative field that will help them pay back loans over time.

Encouraging your student to choose an advanced degree that will prepare them for financial success is extremely important. You can find resources on high-paying advanced degrees to share with your student here, here, and here.

Some professions that require graduate degrees and pay well include:

  • Physician
  • Lawyer
  • Dentist
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Computer scientist
  • Optometrist
  • MBA
  • Pharmacist

4. Long-term career viability

When it comes to an advanced degree, high ROI goes hand-in-hand with the idea of choosing a degree with long-term career viability. Your student needs to gather as much information as possible regarding how viable their degree may be in years to come.

Another way to think about this is to consider whether the degree is likely to be recession-proof. If your student chooses to study law, medicine, or IT, for example, they are more likely to be able to continue working even in difficult economic times.

It takes many years to earn an advanced graduate degree. Urge your student to study in a field that will stand the test of time, and the investment could absolutely be worth it.

The bottom line

There are many factors to consider as your student makes all-important career decisions that will impact his or her adult life. Earning an advanced degree could be an excellent opportunity for your student to excel and share their unique gifts with others.

If your homeschool student decides to pursue an advanced degree in college, then choosing a viable career with a good ROI is crucial, no matter what. As you help them make decisions on where to enroll, take overall expenses, student loan debt, and the time required to earn the degree into account. All those factors will help you work together effectively in order to choose the right graduate school.

Is your student considering an advanced degree? What factors are you taking into consideration? Let us know in the comment section!