Earning a graduate degree can help you expand or change your career, increase your income, become a respected expert in your field, pursue your love for learning, learn in a challenging and stimulating environment and meet and interact with like-minded individuals. However, it requires a tremendous amount work and focus, especially if your program requires a practicum and/or internship and costs a great deal of money. Therefore, you should weigh these factors when deciding whether to attend graduate school:
- Cost - Can you receive financial aid or financial assistance from your family or employer?
- Potential Loss of Income While Attending School Full-time - Will you attend school part-time while working, or can you afford to not work, knowing it may increase your income in the future?
- Prolonged Hard Work & Mental Effort - Are you ready to take on the intense but rewarding work that comes with a graduate education?
- Possible Relocation - Are you willing to move for a better program or greater success?
- School Effects on Family and Relationships - Are you willing to give up your social life for a few semesters?
If you’re not sure whether to pursue a graduate degree, talk to other individuals such as:
- People who have the job and degree that interests you
- Graduate students at various stages of their education in that field of study
- Professors who teach in that field of study