Graduate school is a very time consuming, difficult process whether you go part-time or full-time. You will never meet a graduate student who isn’t completely swamped between writing papers and reading pages upon pages of books and articles. (If you find one, please have them call me to tell me their secret!)
You may be reaching a point in your life that you are wondering about this very weighty question: Should I go back to school? If you don’t take anything else from this article please remember this: Do not go unless it is for the right reasons! Now you may be wondering how do I know if my reasons are right or not? Well have no fear; some of those questions will be answered here.
Let’s cut to the chase: Top Reasons To Hold Off
• To avoid personal obligations (examples: family or financial issues)
• To further investigate a topic that has always interested you (Graduate school is not to expand your knowledge about your favorite hobby or interest) Graduate school is not an experiment!
• To further put off what you want to do with your life, (YOU WILL RACK UP MORE DEBT) Hope that scared you off
• To escape your current job situation (examples: you don’t have a job or you are unhappy with your job)
• To make your parents happy
Dive on in: Top Reasons to Pursue a Graduate Degree
• To improve your career by increasing both your responsibility and earning potential
• To pursue your passion within the job field
• To complete the necessary requirements to get a job within a field (example: doctor)
• To enhance professional prospects: switching careers or wanting more options within a current career
So now that you got your feet wet it’s important to addresses a series of questions:
• Do I know what I want to study?
• What jobs would I like to apply for after graduating?
• Am I financially able and or prepared?
• How long do I need to apply for a program?
• How long is the program?
• Should I go part-time or full-time?
• Do I need to take the GRE’s? What is the GRE?
The questions listed above are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are enough to get you started if this is a choice you have been considering.
What they don’t always tell you:
• Assistantships: A great way to get professional job experience and also get most or all of your graduate tuition paid for.
• Get involved with research: What matters in this case is how seriously you pursue a topic and start to learn the skills to build a base before entering graduate school. Get some experience away from your home institution, complete a field study.
• Network: Establish contacts and attend conferences and other professional development experiences early on.
• Be your own advocate: Take advantages of the resources around you to better your personal statements, letters, and tests
There are a lot of questions to consider before gong to graduate school! Take your time and pick a school that is the best fit for you! Don’t settle because there is a program out there that will fit your needs. Graduate school is a very rewarding and important endeavor and changes you for the better! The class sizes are typically very small; and most times the members of the class have chosen the path because they want to be there which makes for even a better experience. Earlier I asked for you to only go to graduate school if it was for the right reasons, remember that? Me too, good luck!