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Study Says People With Graduate Degrees Are Happier

There are loads of reasons to attend graduate school (higher pay and faster promotion come to mind), but what if the simplest and most obvious reason is that it could make you happier? According to the World Happiness Report published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), people who possess postgraduate degrees are happier than their lesser degree-holding counterparts (the least happy were those with no formal education).

The annual study reports on the state of world happiness, the causes of people’s happiness and other general indicators of happiness. And when it comes to discussing education, the authors write:

“On average, the level of education has no clear direct impact on happiness, but

education is of course indirectly related to happiness through its effect on income:

education increases income and income increases happiness.”

It’s an important distinction, to be sure; correlation does not equal causation. But it does confirm that those who possess a graduate degree and all of its added benefits are, generally speaking, happier. The authors continue, writing that more time spent in school also influences future happiness:

“Longer years of education are also associated with increased employability and job

security, and faster promotion, all of those being factors conducive to higher happiness.”

For people who yearn for the classroom, the link may seem obvious. But for those still mulling over graduate programs, think about this: from increased income to better job prospects the sum of a graduate degree’s benefits are striking. Add in overall happiness, to boot, and you can count us in.

For information about graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies, attend the fall graduate fair on Thursday, October 1 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at the Terrace Room in Claudia Cohen Hall.