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Should You Pursue A Higher Education Degree

Should you earn a higher education degree? While you are the only one that can make that decision ultimately there are few things you should consider including your interests, career objectives, personal goals, dreams, and capabilities. Before jumping into higher education degree program you must honestly and accurately assess your skills, competencies, and weaknesses, as you will have to live with your decision for years to come. You may want to ask yourself the following questions:

Are you going to graduate school for the right reason?

People decide to go to graduate schools for many different reasons, which may include intellectual advancement or career development. Some individuals decide to go to graduate school to pursue a higher education degree because they aren't exactly sure what they want to do for a job or if they are ready for a fulltime career. Unfortunately, these are not good reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. Graduate education programs require a high level of commitment of time, money and emotional involvement. If you aren’t sure why you need to go to graduate school then you probably aren’t ready.

What are my career objectives and goals? Will earning a higher education degree help you meet these goals?

Specialized trades and careers, such as those found in dentistry, medicine, and law, require specialized education beyond the bachelor’s degree. A career in psychology or education may also require higher education. How will earning a graduate degree increase your career opportunities?

What will I earn a higher education degree in?

While an undergraduate degree offers a rather broad introduction to a career field, a graduate degree provides very narrow and specialized training. For example, a graduate psychology degree requires you to select a career specialization such as experimental, clinical, counseling, developmental, social, or biological psychology. It is important to identify your industry specialization as your choice will determine the programs to which you'll apply and your specific course curriculum.

Can you commit to two to seven years of graduate school?

Graduate school is substantially different from college because it requires a higher level of academic commitment. You must not only enjoy but also be adept at reading, writing, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information. Speak with program instructors and previous graduate students to get a better feel for what is involved in the graduate program you are contemplating. Many graduate students comment that a graduate degree was much more demanding than they had expected.

Do I possess the academic and personal qualifications to succeed?

Most graduate programs require that students maintain at least a 3.0 average throughout their graduate studies. In fact, some graduate degree programs deny educational funding to students who fall below a 3.33 grade point average. So you better ask yourself can you effectively and efficiently multitask, manage projects, and type complex papers all at once?

Earning your graduate degree is a life changing decision. There are both pros and cons to continuing your education so make sure to get the right information from reliable sources including the career-counseling center, your family, graduate students, and professors.

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