Things to Consider Before Attending Graduate School
Before investing large amounts time, money and effort into attending graduate school, think about whether or not it is the right option for you. Specifically, here are some items to consider before committing to graduate studies:
- Are you career-focused? Do not pursue graduate studies just as a means to help you figure out what you want to do as a profession. If you do not know what you want to do, then arrange an appointment to meet with a career counselor in Counseling and Career Services.
- Are you attending graduate school because you fear not being able to land a job in a weak job market? Unless some special advanced academic skills are required for a position, employers typically place more value on candidates with relevant experience in the form of an internship, co-op, practicum, etc. Many employers perceive individuals with advanced degrees just on equal ground with those holding only undergraduate degrees.
- Does the career you are pursuing require an advanced degree or additional special training in order to attain some specific skills or certification/licensure? If not, then you might want to delay consideration of graduate school.
- If you do need to acquire some specific additional skills, can you obtain the necessary training through other avenues? Sometimes you can do so through seminars/workshops or community college courses, which could save you time and money.
- Is it your decision to attend graduate school? It is important that you truly are interested in expanding your knowledge and skills in the field of study. If you are being coerced into pursuing graduate studies by family or friends, then there is a strong chance that you may flounder in it due to your lack of self-motivation.