How to Decide if You Should Go to Grad School
Making the choice to go to grad school is tough. There isn’t a guide that tells you, “Yes, you should,” or, “no, you shouldn’t,” and no one really explains the benefits or tells you it’s an option after you graduate. You either stumble into it or find out it’s an option because you know someone else who did it. The thing is, there is always a reason for going…you just have to figure out if that reason is worth it for you. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help you decide.
Why do I want to continue my education?
First and foremost, take some time to really think about why you would want to go to graduate school. For some people, they just need a little more time before jumping into the real world. Others get offered to work at the school but to also earn their master’s at the same time. Others just want the degree and to say they have a master’s. Then there’s those who have a bachelor’s but want a degree in something else. There are so many reasons for going back to school, and it’s important to make sure you decide on what you think will benefit you the most in the long run.
Do I need another degree to do what I want to do in life?
Some people believe the more degrees they have, the better their job, salary, or lives will be. The truth is, that’s not always the case. Depending on what you want to do career-wise, a master’s degree may not be needed. If you can accomplish your career goals and tasks without having to go back to school, you may be better off without it.
What are the pros and cons for me if I go to grad school?
Going back to school requires a lot of thought, time, energy, and money. Having a family or a full-time job can make going to grad school challenging and possibly more costly. It can be helpful to make an old-fashioned pros and cons list to figure out if grad school is worth it for you.
How much are tuition and costs for the program?
This is one of the most important factors for considering if you should go back to school. Will you be relying on student loans, your personal savings, or applying for grants and scholarships? Assess your financial situation and if going to graduate school makes sense for you. If it doesn’t advance your career and increases your debt, that’s an important factor to consider.
How long is the program?
The length of the master’s program is important. Not many people can afford to take two to five years of their life to attend school again. If you do plan to attend grad school, take time to plan out your classes and take note of the class times. Not all programs offer night classes, and if you need to work, class schedules can make the difference between going back to school or not.