Considering Graduate School?

To go or not to go

Should you go on to graduate school? Is it the right move for you at this point in your career? Give your decision careful consideration, weighing all the factors, including:

  • Your career path
    • What do you truly want to do? What excites you more than anything? If it is a profession you absolutely, positively must pursue, and it requires advanced education, then you are probably an excellent candidate for further education.
  • Investment of time, money and energy
    • Graduate students find out very quickly that their days of general education courses and hanging out with friends are over - graduate school is about school.
  • Are you ready to commit?
    • Consider your post-undergraduate life plans. Graduate school can put a huge financial strain on an individual already facing student loan debt, not to mention the burden of time you will be spending studying. Be sure you are ready for the added responsibility of a few more years of schooling.
  • Your marketability to an employer
    • Not every profession requires an advanced degree, so do some research on potential career opportunities before committing to more education.
  • Opportunities within the field
    • If you do plan to work before going back for that advanced degree, will more education help you move up the ranks at your company? Have you landed a job in your undergraduate area of study and now you are thinking you want to enhance what you have learned or pursue a totally new field? Depending on your professional career path, advanced education may help you reach your career goals.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Getting In

  • Do your homework. Thoroughly research the schools that fit your area of concentration. Take a look at the scope of their programs, investigate their requirements, find out about financial aid options and processes and so forth. 
  • Ask questions. Schedule a campus visit to get a better feel for a school than what is on the website.
  • Understand each school's application process. Every school is different, and you may not have to send the same packet of information to each one.
  • Don't procrastinate. Graduate schools have firm deadlines that they expect applicants to meet. Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete in-depth documents. 
  • Tailor your materials and check your work. Make sure you send materials to the appropriate place. 
  • Tips for graduate school applicants:
    • If the program allows it, reach out to the program director in advance of applying to show you are a serious candidate.
    • If your program requires standardized testing, prepare for the test. 
    • Experience can make all the difference in being chosen. If you can get experience, get it. If you have experience, make sure that your resume is complete, accurate and demonstrative of your work.

‚ÄčCourtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.