How much is a Masters Degree worth?

According to the Commerce Department a masters degree is worth about $1.3 million more than a high school diploma when it comes to lifetime earnings.

I haven’t seen much of that $1.3 million yet, but the experience of completing my masters degree in communication has proven beneficial for job opportunities, faculty teaching positions and more. Plus I really enjoyed the intellectual interaction with fellow students and professors. It just takes things to a new level when compared to undergraduate classes.

Top things I value about my grad school experience:

  • The experience
  • The opportunities
  • The training/education
  • The challenge

Whether you get a masters degree from an Ivy League, private or state school, getting a graduate degree can greatly enhance your marketability, opportunities and bring you into contact with fellow professionals and students who can prove valuable additions to your field of friends.

Pricing yourself and your photography

Pricing yourself and your work can be a difficult consideration, but there are some good tools and recommendations out there that can help you make a wise decision when you’re trying to price your own work, photography, design work, programing or whatever art or work you produce.

One of the best tools I’ve seen is the Cost of Doing Business Calculator by the National Press Photographer’s Association. Fill in the blanks and let it calculate a basic range. You can figure out a rate that best fits you from there.

Believing in your abilities and continuing to improve yourself is an important part of pricing. I know a consultant who gave an quote to a new client. When the client came back and said it was higher than what they wanted by more than double. He confidently let them know that they will get what they paid for, but if they wanted to, he would give them an invoice for the full amount and after the day of consulting they could write in whatever amount they felt his consulting was worth. They liked his confidence and his negotiation skills, and they flew him across several states for the job.

Johnny Truant actually inspired this entry with his article. It reads in part…

There are good and bad photographers. There are good and bad coaches. Which are you? If you’re good, believe it — and then hike up your pants and price yourself accordingly.Cutting prices works for commodities, but will not win you good clients. If you’re cheap, people won’t think it’s because you’re awesome and they’re getting a good deal. Instead, they will look at your bargain basement price and will assume that you suck. via You’re worth more than you think | Johnny B. Truant.

Besides the Calculator, there is a lot of material out there that can help you price yourself. Pricing is important. Read what Laurie said at

If you’ve agreed to accept a lower price in return for the thrill of publication, how can you be sure that the buyer wants your picture because it’s the best he can find… or because you were the only person willing to supply it at that bargain rate?

Pam Newman gave these five questions that are great to ask when you’re in the process of setting pricing for yourself and your products.

Other references worth checking out on this same topic

Costs in producing photos

Pricing freelance photos

Generalized Marketing

The other day, I got a letter from a phone company.

It was addressed to “Valued Michigan Resident.” I was so touched that I nearly wept with joy at this expression of appreciation as I tossed the unopened letter into the trash.

I’d rather get a letter that’s addressed to “You!” than some cheesy expression calling me some no-name “valued” resident.