Making the Graduate School Decision
The decision to go to graduate school should be because you are committed to the idea after extensive self-exploration and research. The following is a list of several questions you may want to ask yourself as your weigh your options:
- Why do I want to attend graduate school?
- Am I avoiding making life-career decisions by continuing my education?
- Am I considering graduate school because I don't see any other career options?
- Am I considering graduate schools because "everyone else is doing it" or because of pressure from other expectations of me?
- Am I clear enough about my career interests to go directly to graduate school?
- Do I need a break from school?
- Do I know what I want to study?
- Am I clear about my short and long terms careers goals - and how an advanced degree will help me attain them?
- Have I researched my chosen career to determine the optimum timing for graduate school - i.e., does an advanced degree in my field require a prerequisite number of years of work experience? Would I be better advised to work a number of years before pursing the degree?
- Does my chosen field require an advanced degree? Will it make me more marketable in the future?
- Are there alternate routes to my career goals?
- Will a higher degree really affect my salary in my chosen career field?
- Could I get a fulfilling position in my chosen career field without an advanced degree?
- Am I ready to enter a program of study that will take me two or more years to complete?
- Do I like independent research?
- How will I finance graduate school?
- Am I willing to live on a limited budget for the next two or more years?
- Am I willing to dedicate the time and energy that will be required?
- Will I pursue an advanced degree on a full-time or part-time basis? Have I examined the advantages and disadvantages of each?
The decision to attend graduate school should be based on a number of factors. Our career counselors will be happy to help you sort through the important issues around your decision, as well as with the necessary preparation and planning.