So, You Want to Go to Graduate School?
- Should I go to graduate school right away or wait awhile and then apply?
- How do I decide which school is best for me?
Those are probably the two questions we hear most. The answer is a personal one for each of you. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether or when to attend graduate school:
How defined are your goals? Have you talked with people in your field to explore what you might be doing after graduate school?
Have you done some “hands-on” reality testing? Have you completed an internship or worked in your chosen field? Related work is recommended prior to graduate school to enable you to gain maturity and to perhaps offset mediocre grades or test scores.
What is the probability of finding employment in the field with and without an advanced degree? Is the additional schooling essential to your entry into the field?
Do you truly understand what you will gain by pursuing an advanced degree? Have you compared your expectations of what graduate school will do for you with what it has done for alumni of the graduate program?
Are you excited by the idea of studying the particular field you have in mind? Do you like intensive study?
Are you simply looking for a way to put off career decisions and avoid the job search—avoid adult responsibilities?
You generally need a solid grade point average (B or 3.00) or a series of prerequisite classes before entering graduate school. Are you prepared?
Calculate the academic and personal expenses of another degree. Can you afford this? Have you identified ways to finance such a decision? Also, consider the cost of deferred income for this period. How much potential income will you lose now and in the future by delaying your entry to the workforce?
It’s fairly obvious that we think you should give careful thought to your decision. Take action! If nothing else do some:
- Talking and questioning—remember to listen to the advice and information others share with you.
- Reality testing—test out your career interest before committing to a specialized graduate program.
- Soul searching —be certain this is your future goal and you are not motivated by something else.