Do you need a grad degree to compete right now? Probably not

By Anna Helhoski

Graduate degrees, once touted as the new bachelor's degrees, are becoming less crucial to get jobs. Today, more college graduates than ever hold advanced degrees, and graduate programs are the only area of higher education that saw enrollment increases during the worst of the pandemic.

And yet employers aren't requiring graduate degrees as often to gain entry into fields. In a tight labor market, do students still need to consider a graduate degree to compete for jobs? Labor economists and human resource experts say it depends. Prospective students should consider the cost and potential earning advantages of specific graduate programs before applying. But it can be difficult to compare programs.