Almost 420 candidates received master's degrees at the recent commencement at Saint Leo's University Campus, many earning their graduate degrees online. Over 330 more candidates will receive graduate degrees at numerous commencement ceremonies at Saint Leo centers across the country in coming weeks.

According to recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, when it comes to education attainment levels, the fastest rate of growth over the past 10 years has been graduate degrees.

People who earned doctorate degrees grew by 45 percent between 2002 and 2012 and those who earned master's degrees grew by 43 percent.

Undergraduate degrees rose at a smaller rate: associates degrees grew by 31 percent and bachelor's degrees by 25 percent.

If you are among those who have earned a graduate degree, being able to add your degree abbreviation after your name on your resume, business card, or correspondence is a distinction you worked hard to attain.

While advanced credentials can certainly open up new job opportunities, what does a master's degree mean to your personal bottom line?

Check out our business master's degrees including programs in business administration and marketing.

For additional reading on investing in an online MBA program, read "Online MBA Programs: Are They Worth It?"

Working on a master's degree? We'd like to hear your thoughts about the value of a graduate degree.

Other posts you may be interested in reading:

Do Graduate Degrees Pay Off [Infographic]

Accelerated MBA Online: A Faster Degree Path

Newest MBA Grads Share Reasons For Earning Degrees

Image credit: anasahmad on Flickr/Creative Commons