The purpose of seeking a graduate school degree varies from individual to individual, but the most common reasons for seeking a graduate degree are the following:
- A junior or senior in college wanting to do advanced work in a subject
- A profession that requires specialized training such as medicine, law, or social work
- A career that has climaxed and requires advanced education to jump start it
For whichever reason you are deciding to go back to school or continue with your education, this step must be taken carefully and be well planned. Going to graduate school is a tremendous investment of time and financial resources, and you must make sure that investment will advance your career in the desired direction. Preparing yourself to make this decision is a multiple step process. First, you must look within yourself at your current pathway and your proposed destination. You will need to analyze your strength, weaknesses, financial situation, and social situation. You will also need to prioritize your needs. Then set short term and long term goals to help you keep your eye on the prize. This will require much research and footwork as well as compromising.
Attending graduate school can be one of the best decisions a person can make. Not only will it help you earn more money in the long run, but odds are you’ll enjoy a much higher level of job and career satisfaction while you’re earning your money. In our graduate school Guide, you’ll read about the benefits and challenges of attending graduate school, and learn how to pick the right school for you, as well as all your different options for financing your graduate education. In our guide, you’ll find lots of helpful information, much of which you’ve probably never really thought about before. Having all the facts can help you make a more informed decision.
Graduate School Search
As an advanced college degree becomes more common, colleges and universities across the country are adding graduate school programs in a variety of fields. While some are more highly respected and well-known for particular genres of study, obtaining an advanced degree can help you land a great job in the future.
Graduate school offers its students a flexibility and depth of specified knowledge that isn’t available in undergraduate programs. After four years of meeting the general requirement courses and still trying to squeeze in those specific to a major, many students are under the impression that graduate school classes are going to be the same old song and dance. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Often approached in a more laid-back atmosphere, graduate school offers students the chance to explore their specialty area more deeply—and may even help them to develop a depth of knowledge that would be hard to obtain otherwise.
For some careers, graduate school is as much a requirement as the first four years were. If you plan to become a doctor, pharmacist, or specialize in the business arena, graduate school will be a continuation of where you left off the year before. Often spending several years in graduate programs and internships to gain the knowledge necessary to complete the job, many graduates are considered experts in their field of study when they finally complete the class time.
When choosing a graduate program for yourself, do some homework. Look for a program that is designed for your life. Do you have small children or, maybe, a full time job? If so, consider programs that offer flexible class schedules or investigate if the courses can be completed online or on weekends. Distance learning opportunities are often available for graduate school programs to help students meet busy schedule demands and to continue their degree with ease.
Graduate School Exams
In order to get into graduate school, you’ll probably have to take one of these graduate exams: