Making the decision
Many students, at some point in their undergraduate (or even graduate) career, will ask themselves “Should I continue my education after graduation?” There are some key issues that you should consider in order to help you reach the best personal conclusion.
Do I know why I want to continue my education? Accordion Closed
Graduate and certificate programs are almost always very focused on a specific subject area. The students who get the most out of these programs are the ones who are passionate about their field of study and have specific plans about how they intend to utilize their degree upon graduation. Choosing to continue your education without a vision for how it will help you in your future can lead to participating in an unfulfilling experience.
Do my professional goals require more education? Accordion Closed
Some careers, such as law, medicine, social work, teaching, and accountancy require state or national certification that can only be achieved at the highest levels through further education. If you desire to work in one of these types of fields it is imperative that you further your education at some point. You may be able to work your way up in other careers through a combination of your undergraduate degree and hard work without furthering your education.
Is the time right? Accordion Closed
Continuing your education right after graduation is a tempting proposition. After all, you are a good student, you enjoy taking classes and applying for graduate programs may seem less stressful than applying for jobs. While starting a graduate program right after graduation is certainly right for some students, others find that gaining professional experience, not to mention earning a salary, helps them tremendously when they decide to start graduate school at some point in the future. Some graduate programs, such as business administration, actually require that students have a number of years of professional experience prior to starting graduate studies. This way, students can apply their newly acquired professional knowledge in the classroom.
Why pursue graduate school? Accordion Closed
In many career sectors, a master’s degree is replacing a bachelor’s as the minimum requirement for employment. While holding a graduate degree is not guarantee of success, it opens many more doors for employment.
Earning a graduate degree is evidence of persistence, determination, intellectual prowess, and the ability to handle challenging environments- sought-after qualities for individuals filling manager and director positions. An employee who has demonstrated success in a long-term situation that requires stamina, discipline, leadership, and the ability to work well with others is going to be in line for growth opportunities within his or her organization.
According to the US Census Bureau, workers between the ages of 21 and 64 with a master’s degree or higher earn nearly 30 percent higher annual salaries than workers who don’t.
Recognition and credibility
An advanced degree makes a difference on a resume. It says something about who you are and the dedication you have to your chosen field.