As inflation soars past 8.5 percent and heads toward the historic double-digit mark, millions of college graduates and mid-life career changers are opting to apply for education loans to cover tuition and related costs of obtaining a post-graduate diploma. For so many job-seekers in an increasingly unstable economy, private lenders are the most cost-efficient source of financing. Even as several economic indicators and the dreaded misery index worsen, working people and college seniors are discovering that one of the best ways to secure long-term employment is to earn a master’s degree in their chosen field.

Year after year, holders of grad diplomas land the highest paying positions and are virtually immune to otherwise frightening unemployment statistics. In 2022, inflationary pressures have already begun eating into personal savings, making it all the more necessary for prospective students to rely on private lending sources for post-graduate degrees. Job prospects, entry-level salaries, and long-term job security are among the top reasons people choose master’s programs.

Young and older adults returning to school increasingly turn to private graduate student loans as a one-stop financing solution. There are multiple advantages of the private route, particularly in 2022’s iffy economy. For one thing, borrowers can apply online in minutes, supplying basic personal and financial information in a brief form. Paying for a grad degree with a private student loan also affords people the chance to receive prompt decisions on their applications and gives them access to enough funds to cover the entire cost of obtaining an advanced degree.

Not since the late 1970s has inflation had such an impact on the value of personal savings, spending power, and retirement accounts. While January’s five-percent rate was thought to be transitory, it soon became apparent that rising consumer prices were anything but temporary. As Q1 of 2022 ended, April’s continued inflationary pressures signaled a permanent rate above the seven-percent benchmark. Only weeks later, it rose to eight percent and upward. Even with creative ways to fight inflation, for anyone planning to pay education expenses from personal savings, the prospects dimmed considerably with the newest data.

As COVID-related restrictions subside, more employers are going on hiring binges to make up for lost time. However, most new positions are in higher-level tiers of companies and government agencies. Supervisors prefer to fill those slots with candidates who hold master’s degrees or have many years of relevant experience. For younger job seekers, that typically means the only way to land such a position is by having a grad diploma in hand at the time of the initial interview.

Credit: Razvan Chisu

Looking toward Q3 of 2022, the career fields with the most openings and long-term security for new applicants include traditionally lucrative areas like IT, management, marketing, engineering, university instruction, logistics, economic analysis, statistics, government careers, and programming. In the 2020s, many students are surprised to discover several unexpected expenses associated with post-college programs. Gone are the days when tuition and textbooks were the primary responsibilities for those paying for school.

In 2022, prospective students must be ready to pay for several unexpected costs. These include per-semester activity fees, custom software products, course-specific laptops for those who don’t already own the latest devices, commuting expenses for in-person classes, boarding costs for attendees who choose to live on campus, etc.

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