Pursuing an advanced degree is a big commitment in terms of time, money, and work. Some students carelessly choose grad school to avoid the job search or to extend their undergraduate experience. Grad school should be a means to a professional goal, not the end in itself. Here are some legitimate reasons to attend grad school:
- Your chosen career field requires more than an undergraduate degree.
If you need certification, licensure, or an advanced degree for your chosen profession, grad school could be necessary.
- Your chosen career requires graduate study for advancement.
Some professions require advanced degrees for pay increases, promotions, and other added benefits.
When should I go to grad school?
Some individuals begin grad school upon completion of their undergraduate degree. Others take time to gain additional work or volunteer experience before applying. Can you make the necessary commitment in time, effort, and resources? Evaluate your personal goals and aspirations to determine the best option for you.
How much time will it require?
Plan for at least two years of full time study at the master’s level and four to six years to obtain a doctoral degree.
How will I pay for additional schooling?
Grad school tuition may be thousands of dollars per year. Think through various loan, grant, and work options. Some employers provide benefits packages that include paid or reduced tuition. Review Graduate School Funding.
What do I do about stress?
It's important to think about the stress involved in attending grad school. Stress may result from financial concerns, academic workloads and competitiveness, long study hours, deadlines, and time constraints. When choosing a school, consider geographic location, areas of support, and ways to balance school and personal life.