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So You Want to Go To Grad School?

Are you considering going to grad school? Just googling “Should I go to graduate school” may cause you to think again. However, despite the internet’s seeming disdain towards attending grad school, it may still be a good option for you. Here are some things to consider:

1) Is it essential for your desired career field?

Do you want to be a doctor? Lawyer? Dentist? Then obviously, grad school/professional school is the way to go. Some fields require you to have a higher education than just a Bachelor’s, in which case, definitely go to grad school. However, because of the price tag that comes with a higher level of education, it may be best to look into professional experiences you can pursue with your undergrad degree to keep your bank account afloat before going back to school.

2) Are you trying to change career fields?

Did you just go through your undergrad majoring in art history, thinking you wanted to be a museum curator, then realize it wasn’t for you as you began your final semester? Then grad school is definitely something to consider. Maybe you decided you want to teach, or maybe get into political science. If it’s a total career switch, then grad school may be the best option for you. However, before you decide on grad school, consider your previous job experiences or applicable knowledge that could be useful in finding a job you like, such as marketing, human resources, etc.

3) How much is it going to cost?

Some schools will waive your tuition fees, give you research grants, or provide you with the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in exchange for tuition. If you find that you may be able to attend grad school for minimal costs and have a strong desire to continue your education, then why not? Otherwise, consider the question below.

4) Is it going to make a significant difference in your potential earnings?

Are you studying management, but it’s said that people with MBA’s earn nearly 25% more than those with their undergrads? Considering grad school may be a viable option for you. Majoring in graphic design, where those with MFAs only earn around 3% more than those with Bachelor’s? Unless you plan to go into teaching, the return on investment may not be worth it.

5) Are you unsure of what you want to do?

If this is the case, grad school is most likely not for you (at this particular time). Because grad school is so time consuming and costly, it’s best to go into grad school with an end goal in mind. If you graduated with an undergrad degree that you feel burnt out with, try getting into other fields that you’ve been interested in that may not require specific degrees. If you can’t think of alternative fields to get into, consider waiting tables or becoming an exec assistant. It’ll give you experience interacting with customers, being on a team and developing time management skills and you’ll still maintain a cash flow while you figure out what you want to do.

Deciding to apply to grad school is ultimately your decision, your time and your money. If you feel it’s right for you, despite what others say, then go ahead and apply. You can always change your mind. Still unsure of whether or not it’s for you? Visit the CCO for career counseling and grad school advice. We’re happy to help.

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