going grad: is graduate school right for you?
Posted : March 3, 2004
Last Updated : October 8, 2014
Do you know what you want to do after you obtain your bachelor's degree? Maybe you are going to take a break and travel to foreign places. Maybe you are going to delve right into the workforce. Or maybe you are considering going to graduate school. If you are leaning toward the latter, keep in mind that graduate school is not for everyone. The following should help you decide whether or not graduate school is right for you.
Do you have a definite career path that you want to follow? You will be expected to have clearly defined goals when you go to graduate school. This means that unless you have a clear idea of the career you want to pursue, you might want to hold off on graduate school and consider going to work in order to get a better understanding of the jobs that are out there. You can always go back to graduate school once you know exactly what you want to do.
What can you do with your bachelor's degree? If you are afraid that you can't get a job with your major, visit your college's Career Services department and research jobs that go along with your major. After researching job opportunities related to your major, you may be able to decide whether or not you need an advanced degree.
Do you have the drive to go to school for another two to seven years? You've been going to school for most of your life. Can you handle more? Graduate school requires a higher level of academic commitment than undergrad. You will have to read, write, and analyze more information than you did as an undergrad. You will also be expected to work on your own, which requires a lot of self-discipline. Speak with professors and graduate students to get a better perspective of what will be required of you.
What about financial aspects? Is the payoff worth the cost? Research ways of financing graduate school, such as assistantships, grants, and loans, before you make a commitment.
Do you want to go to graduate school? Parents have a way of influencing their children's decisions. Often times, students go to graduate school because their parents want them to do so. If you choose to get an advanced degree, make sure it is your decision. Your parents will not be the one who has to do all the work.
Going to graduate school is a huge decision. If you are considering getting an advanced degree, you need to make sure that you are ready for the pressure that it entails. Obtaining that advanced degree means you will have to focus more on learning and less on partying. It means that you will need to have clearly defined goals and motivation. If this sounds feasible, then grad school may be for you. For more information about graduate school, be sure to read Grad School Application Timeline and Preparing for and Applying to Grad School.