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Are you thinking about going to graduate school? Does getting your Master’s seem like the answer to moving you along your career path or maybe starting a new one? Obtaining a graduate degree could be the right answer and have a positive effect on your career. However, make sure it fits into your career plan and that you are doing it for the right reasons. If you are unsure as to why you want a Master’s, it could be a waste of both time and money. Before you decide to pursue a graduate degree, make sure you answer the following three questions.
- Do you know what graduate degree you plan to pursue?
If you are planning to pursue a graduate degree, you should have a clear understanding of what you want to study. Graduate programs are geared toward a specific subject area and sometimes have concentrations or specializations within the program. It’s important to have a strong interest in the program area that you plan to study to keep you motivated and successful. If you are unsure and just know that you want a Master’s degree, first take time for reflection and research to ensure that you find the right program and that you don’t end up wasting time and money.
- Will a graduate degree help your career?
Consider whether a graduate degree is something that will help your career. A graduate degree is not always the answer, so be sure to do your research ahead of time. Sometimes getting the actual work experience will move you ahead faster than getting your Master’s degree. Or possibly a graduate certificate versus a degree would be a better option. It all depends on your specific career. Start by researching your career field and job requirements. Ask your professional network for feedback before deciding if getting your Master’s is the right career move for you.
- Are you prepared for graduate school?
Graduate school is an intense program of study that requires a big time commitment and typically involves a large amount of reading and writing. The admission process is competitive and can take several months to complete. Each graduate program will have its own requirements, which may include an entrance exam, undergraduate GPA requirement, recommendations, personal statement, and possibly work experience or prerequisite coursework. In addition to academic preparation, you will need to assess your home and work responsibilities and determine if you are prepared for the time and energy needed to commit to a graduate program. You will need to have that work-life balance during graduate school for success.
For more information, read 3 Signs You’re Ready for Grad School and Are You Ready for Grad School? If you are thinking about graduate school and would like to discuss further, schedule a call with your AthLife Advisor.