(MoneyWatch) Considering plunging into a graduate program in hopes of making yourself more marketable and increasing your earning potential? A master's degree could unlock a lot of future income, contingent upon a slew of variables. Working through all of those variables, though, isn't necessarily simple. Here's a way to figure it out, painlessly.
LearnVest has published a simple grad school calculator that you can use to get find out the difference in your lifetime earning potential if you attend grad school, and if you don't.
The calculator considers all the key variables, such as your current age and expected retirement age; current earnings and annual raise; the cost of grad school and any loans you'll incur in the process; and finally, your expected salary and raises after you hold your master's degree.
It only takes a few moments, and it's eye opening. You might discover a ton of potential income, or you might find that there's no advantage to getting another degree.
Do you have a graduate degree? Has it paid off the way you hoped? Did you perform a cost/benefit analysis before paying the tuition? Sound off in the comments and share your experiences.