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why do you want to go to graduate school

As costs of higher education continue to rise, countless articles and opinions have surfaced discouraging the pursuitPof additional degrees. While graduate school isn t right for everyone, there are many tangible benefits to earning a higher degree that can often outweigh associated negatives. Making a personal and financial investment in graduate school can yield significant returns for your career and your future. 1. Graduate school provides opportunities for highly increased lifetime financial earnings and more career advancement. In most professions, possessing a graduate degree
than just having a bachelor s. In fields ranging from web design to finance, having a master s degree can bump up salary growth from between 17-20% per year. In some fields, those who hold a master s degree reap even more benefit; biology and life science master s studentsP than those with bachelor s degrees in the same field. Many fieldsPnow require youPto obtain a master s degree; if not, a master s is often highly encouraged. For example, while social work graduates with a bachelor s degree are sometimes able to find employment, most government agencies and positions in clinical social work require a master s degree to advance. Even if your chosen field doesn t require a master s degree, the increased potential for lifetime earnings is a major incentive to pursue further education. Those holding master s degrees will typically than their bachelor s degree counterparts over their lifespan. 2. Getting a graduate degree allows you to change career paths. After a few years in the working world, manyPpeople realize that they have selected the wrong path and want to pursue a new career. Graduate school is a great way to get the education necessary to switch career paths and gain experience in a field unrelated to your time as an undergrad. for those seeking to change career paths. An MBA offers students the ability to initially take a variety of courses in business before choosing a 2nd year specialization, as well as the chance to internPafter the first year to gain experience and insight into their desired career path. 3. Graduate students can often receive a stipend in addition to a free education through teaching and assistantship positions.

Graduate school is expensive, but there are a lot of options to lessen the cost while still pursuing your goals and gaining valuable experience in your field. Assistantships are programs that provide funding to students for their graduate program, while also having them work for their university in some capacity. Some assistantships even pay students on top of the cost of tuition. Fellowships are another channel to pursue; there are a wide variety of graduate fellowships available in a multitude of disciplines that typically cover all costs associated with graduate school, ranging from tuition toPhousing. 4. Graduate school provides the chance to become a subject-matter expert in your chosen field. A lot of bachelor s degrees are very generalized;Pwhile undergraduate majors like marketing are broad and provide a solid overview of the field, a more specialized master s degree makes you a marketable candidate with a more targeted skill set. has thousands of specialized graduate and doctoral programs to get connected with; you might even find speciality areas in your field or a related field that you ve never even heard of that interests you. 5. Graduate school allows youPto utilize the networks of both your professors and your peers. When you go to graduate school, you have the opportunity to tap into the network of your professors. Whether it s writing a letter of recommendation for a position, personally referring you to a doctorate program, or reaching out to their colleagues in industry on your behalf, your graduate school professors are a wealth of knowledge and resources. Your peers are also a fantastic networking tool. If you have classmates that have previously been in industry, use them to learn more about job application processes and utilize their network to get introductions. Get to know your classmates and stay in close contact after graduation; there s a good chance one of them can use their network to help you land a job or introduce you to the right people at some point in your career. Like this article? Sign up for Gradschoolmatch, and visit us at to start matching with graduate programs for free. Many GSAS students have more than a single reason for considering graduate studies at the masters level.

Students often enter masters degree programs: Securing Your Career In the highly competitive global marketplace, a masters degree sets you apart from other job candidates. With a masters degree, youll be eligible for more jobs. The number of occupations that typically require a masters degree will increase by nearly 20% between 2006 and 2016. In many career sectors, such as higher education administration, public affairs, and social services, a master's degree is replacing a bachelor's as the minimum requirement for employment. With a bachelor's degree in the 1980s, one could secure an entry level position as an admissions counselor, academic adviser, or student services coordinator. By the 2000s, applicants for these same entry-level positions were not even considered unless they held a master's degree. While holding a graduate degree is not a guarantee of ultimate success, it certainly opens many more doors for employment. A masters degree helps give you job security. Data from the 2012 U. S. Census Bureau show that the unemployment rate for holders of masters degree is 3. 5% compared with 4. 5% for those with only bachelors degrees, while unemployment rates among those with doctorates (2. 5%) and advanced professional degrees (2. 1%) are approximately half that of those with only a bachelors degree. Professional Development Masters degree programs are increasingly becoming professionalized, with a new focus on preparing graduates for careers in business, government, and non-profit settings. For graduate degree holders, the numbers are favorable: U. S. workers between the ages of 21 and 64 with a master's degree or higher earn an average annual salary of $55,242, versus those with a bachelor's degree whose average annual salary is $42,877, according to the United States Census Bureau. That represents nearly a 30 percent difference in average annual salaryand offers clear evidence that completing a graduate degree can make a positive impact on one's financial situation. Masters degree programs combine discipline-specific, advanced coursework with skills like critical thinking, analytic ability, and time management that are easily transferred if your career path changes.

Earning a graduate degree is evidence of persistence, determination, intellectual prowess, and the ability to handle challenging environmentsall of which are 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. Employer Incentives: Some large corporations have funds set aside that will pay partial or full fees for qualified employees. Personal Development A masters degree not only deepens your education, but also allows you to contribute out of the classroom. Demand for services in education and not-for-profit sectors continues to grow and, as a highly-skilled masters degree recipient, youll be able to fulfill those roles. Choosing to pursue a masters degree takes initiative and commitment. The same traits, along with your newly gained knowledge and skills, will make you a successful leader and innovator when you complete your degree. Enjoy travel opportunities. Some programs, such as archaeology, require studying abroad for research purposes. For those who like to travel, this is a bonus. Be part of a chain of knowledge. Just imagine that the knowledge handed to you by your professor came from another professor who learned it from someone who learned it from a famous scientist or philosopher. You become part of a chain of knowledge. Greater recognition and credibility: There are countless numbers of graduate degree holders who have gone on to accomplish great things, and who are afforded the respect and recognition they deserve and have earned. Unquestionably, an advanced degree makes a difference on a rsum. It says something about who you are and the dedication you have to your chosen field. Sense of accomplishment: The effort put forth to complete your studies, despite moments of doubt and uncertainty, will stand as a central character-building life experience.

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