Is Graduate School the Right Option for You?
Reasons to go to grad school:
- Your employer has offered to pay for it
Even if you employer is only offering to pay a percentage of tuition, you should seriously consider accepting the offer. The cost of getting the degree is one of the biggest reasons to avoid continuing your education. Not to mention that many companies offer a raise in pay with a graduate degree. If your company will invest in you, it probably means that they value your position and see you as a vital piece of your company’s future.
- Your undergraduate school offers a joint undergraduate and graduate program
Some schools offer programs that shorten the time it takes to get a Master’s Degree, typically cutting it to 1 year. This not only cuts time but cost as well, and can alleviate the all-too often event of joining the workforce with the intent to eventually going to graduate school, and never actually making it back.
- You know exactly what you want to do
Grad school may also be the right fit for you if you have a clear career path set in stone. Grad school is, in essence, the opportunity to further your research and connections in your field. Make sure to do your research and see if an advanced degree will help you. If so, go for it.
- The ends justify the means
With an advanced degree, you are not only marketable, but have increased learning potential. Although you may pay more now, it can increase you gains in the long-run and make you more money than you could have otherwise.
Reasons to skip grad school:
- Your costs still outweigh your benefits
While a graduate degree can offer you higher marketability and higher pay, this is not guaranteed. Peterson’s states that grad school costs “total nearly $30,000 and at private schools nearly $40,000.” Depending on your career field and how much time to spend to get the degree, it may cost more than it’s worth. It’s important to view the whole picture, including any undergraduate student loans you may have.
- You are unsure what career path you want to take
Grad school is meant to further research and create networking opportunities in your desired area of study, and if you’re uncertain of where you want to go with your career, this may not be the most logical option for you. Speaking with professionals in a career field or getting an internship can help you test the waters and field a field that best suits you. One of the worst things you can do is to invest in a degree or in a school that won’t hold your interest.
- You didn't get a job right out of college
It might seem like an easy option, if you’ve completed undergraduate studies and don’t have a job lined up, to dive back into school to ‘figure things out.’ However, this is dangerous, as it is extremely expensive and time consuming. Grad school is certainly not the place to figure out your life.