How To Decide if Grad School Is Right for You

Aug 26, 2011

The current economy has left many job seekers frustrated and considering the option of attending graduate school. However, because of the cost associated with attending a graduate degree program and the amount of time it takes to finish, many decide not to take the plunge. Nevertheless, there are some convincing reasons people should consider graduate school now rather than later.

By Bobby Mann


Money is Tight and so is the Jobs Market

It takes money to attend graduate school and pursue a master's degree. Also, spending upwards of a $100,000 on a degree may seem outlandish and slightly foolish in the current economic situation. But it may be even more foolish not to take action during this economic downturn. People who still have doubts about making the commitment to spend should instead think of graduate school as a long-term investment. Over the length of a career, the degree will pay for itself. This of course varies according to the type of master's degree. For example, a person who just completes an MBA will likely get his or her money back in three to four years.

Additionally, the current jobs market is not likely to get better any time soon. It'll be another two or three years before the economy fully recovers from the 2008 financial crisis. This is just the right amount of time it takes to complete a master's degree program and re-enter the jobs market. Also, even if there isn't a full recovery by this time, the new skills and knowledge learned in graduate school will only help chances for employment. Graduate school also gives many attendees the opportunity to network with other professionals and possibly create employment opportunities down the line.

Can Graduate School Teach Anything Valuable?

At the very least, the graduate school experience will teach students how to think critically. Some master's degree programs do even more and teach skills that are specific to their professions. Additionally, there may also be opportunities to complete an internship or work on a capstone project with other students. These experiences will undoubtedly bring new insights into a chosen profession. The graduate degree also has value on its own. For example, students who are accepted into a highly-ranked graduate degree program gain credibility and are viewed as strong job candidates. Not everyone will get into a top-five or top-20 degree program, but for those who do, a graduate degree just might be the antidote needed to cancel out the current economic malaise.

Getting ready to take the plunge into a master's degree program? Learn some common graduate study terms now before you begin.

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