I used to advise my students there were three good reasons to go to graduate school. First, your career demands it. For example, you want to be a professor. Two, it is a very bad economy, you can’t get a job, and not only would a master’s degree help occupationally, but it bides time until the economy improves. Finally, you are completely in love with learning about a subject and you have money to spare.
I also tell people do not waste your time with a PhD if your career doesn’t require it. You could get a couple of Master’s degrees for the time and expense. I say that because a PhD is relatively useless unless you are planning to teach higher education or you plan to do research. It can actually work against you in fact. After I finished my degree, I was a professor for four years (not nearly long enough to recoup my expenses), and it was cut short when I turned whistle blower over some unethical research practices. Take it from a whistleblower, there are millions of reasons people usually stay quiet. One of them is that your own career can face blowback. But I digress.
Once I started looking for work outside academia, I was not even getting job interviews, and it was really getting me down. I started calling some of the places to ask why I had not been considered. Same answer over and over. “We felt you were overqualified.” Yeah thanks, doesn’t that mean I should be overqualified for long bouts of unemployment? Ha. Fat chance. I know I would have been better off sticking to the Master’s instead. Oh well, lesson learned.
If you dream of going and it is something you really want, I send you best wishes to have it happen. It can be done with much less debt than I incurred, mainly due to my two dependents.