Study Shows Top 10 States Where a Graduate Degree Pays Off

Map shows states where grad school pays off

Making the move to another state can yield a big income bump and potentially lower your cost of living, especially for states such as Michigan and Utah.

How much is a graduate degree worth? It depends on where you live, according to the latest study by financial education company Student Loan Hero. The study reported the median salary difference between those with a graduate degree and a bachelor’s degree by state, including the District of Columbia.

“This study showcased how important it is for graduate degree candidates to consider where they want to live after graduation,” said Andrew Josuweit, CEO of Student Loan Hero. “Making the move to another state can yield a big income bump and potentially lower your cost of living, especially for states such as Michigan and Utah.”

Top States to Earn a Graduate Degree

In the No. 1 state, California, a graduate degree netted a 42 percent salary increase. Living in a top-10 state, you’d earn about 35 percent more with a graduate degree than you would with an undergraduate degree.

The top 10 states with the biggest pay bumps:

1. California

2. Virginia

3. Utah

4. District of Columbia

5. Idaho

6. New Jersey

7. Maryland

8. Michigan

9. North Dakota

10. Alaska

SEE THE FULL RANKINGS BY PAY INCREASE>>

Even if you don’t live in one of the top 10 states, your wallet would benefit if you headed back to school. For example, if you lived in the lowest-ranked state, Louisiana, you’d still see a 21 percent salary increase after earning a graduate degree. Knowing your state’s pay bump with a graduate degree can help you decide whether you should go back to school.

Study Methodology

Pay data was sourced from the Census…

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