Questions to Consider Before Dropping $100,000 on Grad School

People often end up in grad school because:

1) They’re not sure what to do with their life.

2) Their career is stalled.

3) Because they got accepted into a certain program.

There are obvious cases where a graduate degree is mandatory; you’re not going to get very far as a doctor or lawyer if you haven’t done the requisite schooling. But what about everyone else? I often get inquiries from executives looking for advice about whether they should go back. Would an MBA, a JD, a doctorate in organizational psychology, or a journalism degree give them that extra edge? Often, the answer is no. There are a lot of things you could do with $100,000, and going to school because you aren’t sure what to do with yourself, or because of received wisdom that an extra degree is always helpful, could be a colossally misguided move.

If you’re taking the plunge, it’s essential to think through how the graduate experience will benefit you, and know in advance what you hope to get out of it. …

If you’re doing a graduate program just to get the degree on your wall, or if only a handful of classes excite you, it’s far better (and cheaper) to take adult ed or extension school classes….

Yes, it’s a better alternative than moping around if you’re unemployed. But it’s also expensive — and that means you need to treat it like an investment, which means you’ve done your research and really thought about how you can extract the most learning and value from it. If you’re not even sure what your ultimate goal is, you’re wasting your time and money.

Excerpt from Grad School May Not Be the Best Way to Spend $100,000 by Dorie Clark at Harvard Business Review

Grad school is not something you shrug your shoulders and just do, it’s a calculated and targeted investment. Think through everything before signing up for it and the financial commitment.


Omar Usman

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @ibnabeeomar. Check out his latest project at Fiqh of Social Media.


  1. November 12, 2013

    When students reach the point in their life when they decide their career path, they should not make the mistake to be influenced solely by the parents’ decision, because students know their strengths and weaknesses better. Of course, parents advice is always beneficial, but not to the extent of deciding their child’s career path. Students should always be sure of the career path they wish to follow, so that this problem does not occur in the future.

  2. November 12, 2013

    Parents should understand that forcing their children to do something that they do not want can lead to deep failure and wast of money and time because your child can fail at the end and then start all over again, and some students might not even finish there education because they might be fed up.


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