Graduate School- Is it for you?
Questions to ask yourself:
The first issue to consider in making plans for graduate work is timing.
• Is it necessary for your career/personal goals to attend graduate school directly after receiving your bachelor’s degree?
• Do the graduate programs in your field of interest look more positively on applicants with some work experience behind them?
• Is your interest in graduate work personal or professional?
• If personal, do you feel ready and able to make the necessary time and financial commitments?
• If your interest is professional, is it imperative that you pursue graduate training immediately in order to further your career goals?
The second issue for pursuing an advanced degree is motivation. Here are some specific questions to ask yourself.
• How do you feel about studying? Do you feel ready to continue your studies in a more intense and specialized manner?
• Do you know what course of study you want to pursue in graduate school?
• Can you imagine focusing your energy on that subject area for eight or more hours each day?
• Can you afford more schooling? Graduate school, in the short term, is not an income producing venture. Financial aid for graduate students is limited mainly to loans.
• What are you hoping to accomplish through graduate work - the challenge of mastering a particular academic specialty, a job requiring advanced study, etc?
• Are you going to graduate school as a last resort because you can’t find a job in your field or don’t want to tackle the employment market?
Before pursuing graduate work:
• Explore the job market in your field of interest. See if there are opportunities open at the bachelor’s degree level. Remember, finding a job, like graduate school, takes time, patience, and hard work.
• Research graduate programs thoroughly to determine how your time will be spent, what the financial obligations will be, and how you will be able to use your graduate degree in the job market or in your future plans.