Is Graduate School Right For You?
The question of whether or not you should attend graduate school can be difficult and often depends on your field of study. For some careers, the decision to continue to graduate school after completing your undergraduate is practically mandatory, while for other careers, most people head out to the workforce. Whether you are just finishing up your undergraduate, or have been in the workforce for some time and are thinking of returning to school, the decision to earn your graduate degree is not something to consider lightly.
How you will pay for school is often the first question that comes to mind when thinking of returning to graduate school. While this can be expensive, it is an attainable goal. There are many different ways you can pay for school, and you are likely to find the income you gain by earning a graduate-level more than makes up for any debt you take on. Just like with undergraduate learning, you can pay for this education through a combination of grants and federal and private loans. Taking out private loans for your graduate degree allows you to borrow enough to cover tuition as well as living expenses. Once you feel more confident about your ability to pay for your degree, you may wonder about the long and short-term benefits of doing so.
Boost Your Career
Earning a graduate degree provides you with a solid base when it comes time to look for employment. Your resume will stand out, and prospective employers will know that you enjoy challenges and have a thirst for knowledge. Once you are employed, that advanced degree will continue to provide benefits. You may qualify for a higher salary or be given special consideration for promotions. A graduate degree will not take the place of hard work, but the combination will allow you to build a great career.
Increase Your Earning Power
Compensation is typically based on several factors, including your ability to negotiate. Having a higher degree calls for higher compensation, and you put yourself in a position of strength when it comes time to negotiate pay raises as well as other benefits. Additionally, the graduate school process, which will include research and require you to formulate and express your own opinions and arguments is a great place to gain negotiation and speaking skills that will be valuable throughout your career.
Allow You to Do What You Love
Many jobs require a master’s level or higher education. There is no decision about whether or not you will attend school, if you want to work in certain positions, you must earn the degree. It can be easy to feel frustrated about spending so much time on your education, but if you are passionate about the future it will allow you to have, it is worthwhile. If you want to work as a psychologist, an advanced practice nurse, in the higher levels of the corporate ladder, or as a teacher or professor in many schools and college systems, you will need a higher level of degree.
The mission of Next Steps Navigation is helping college graduates navigate the ups and downs of finding their place in the world, by finding their right next step. Recognizing the huge gap between getting a college degree and the realities of entering the workforce, we developed our coaching program to help families navigate this critical transition. We’ll meet you where you are and get you pointed in the right direction to choose a job – and a life – that you love.