JDs and current law students might be considering going to grad school. They have a lot of company. According to Education Dynamics and Aslanian Market Research, enrollment in graduate schools could go up 30% during the next four years, reports SMART MONEY.
Whether that will pay off in a better job (or any job), high earnings, and more status depends on the field and the timing. For example, in healthcare those plum positions in administration frequently require a master-level degree. On the other hand, given budget crunches, those having MBAs could be knocked out of the box because they are too expensive.
This isn't new. For my Baby Boomer generation, the first in America to have mass access to higher education, going to graduate school was a gamble. But not an expensive one, except related to the opportunity cost. Many of us who had invested our youth in doctoral programs in the humanities because the government projected a growing need for college teachers found ourselves "overeducated" when those numbers turned out to be wrong. But since education was relatively low cost we weren't saddled with loans. The challenge was making that paradigm shift from being an academic to comporting ourselves as Organization Men and Women, since that was where the bucks, security, and prestige were.