Deciding on Graduate School
Many students plan to attend grad school immediately following completion of their undergrad degree. Others may prefer to work for a year or more prior to enrolling in a program. Some schools/programs prefer that you work at least a year before applying. Each plan has its own merits and it is up to you to decide what suits you best.
When considering graduate school, it is important to ask yourself these questions:
Why am I considering a graduate degree?
If you are uncertain of what you would like to do after you receive your bachelor’s degree, graduate school may not be your best option. Graduate school is recommended for those with clear career goals, whose chosen work requires advanced schooling, and who are aware of the financial impact of graduate school in terms of debt. If you are not sure, it might be best to take some time after undergraduate school to consider your options and gain experience.
Does my chosen profession required more schooling or would it be better to gain experience first?
Sometimes it helps to work in your field for a few years before going to graduate school in order to clarify your goals and direction. On the other hand, some work requires a graduate degree for even “entry-level” positions. Also, some graduate programs require work experience before they will admit someone into their program. Research careers that interest you to see what is required of you BEFORE you commit to another two+ years of schooling.
Can I afford graduate school?
Graduate school is a major financial investment. Financial aid is often more difficult to secure for graduate school than it was for your undergraduate education. This means that you will most likely graduate with a large amount of debt. Will you be able to pay this off? Will you be able to support yourself while in school? These answers are important when deciding on graduate school.