You swore you would never go back. You were done for good. You could not wait to be free. But here you are considering going back to school. Graduate school is a major commitment, but can also be a very valuable experience. It’s important to do thorough research and planning when making this decision. Here are a few things to mull over.
What You Want:
This may seem obvious, but you have to ask yourself do you really want to continue your education? For many people, the prestige of a higher degree outweighs their passion.
Considering some graduate degrees can take up to nine years, you should really only continue on if you are ready to devote yourself to your field of choice. Also don’t let your fond memories of college cloud your judgment when you are stuck in a job you hate.
Graduate school is much more difficult and taxing than undergraduate programs; it might just be time to look for a new job. On the bright side, graduate school can be your chance to pursue a specific interest that a job will never allow.
Graduate school can be very expensive, but what a lot of people don’t know is that it doesn’t have to be. Depending on the program, you can be paid to go to graduate school. This mostly applies to doctoral programs, non-medical, but even some master’s programs will pay for your tuition and provide you with a stipend to live on.
You will most likely have to work as a T.A. throughout, but you will leave with zero debt and be able to provide for yourself while in school. Applying for grants is another great option, they fund your research so you won’t have to work as a T.A.
Continuing your education if you are passionate about what you are studying will never be a bad idea. However, you need to keep your career goals in mind, especially if you are paying for your degree or are completing a longer one.
If going to graduate school will leave you with a degree you can’t use or so much debt that you can’t pursue your passions, then you may want to reconsider. On the contrary, if your ideal job requires a higher degree then don’t let a few extra years or fear of debt get in your way; you’ll likely regret not pursuing your dream down the line.
Are you considering continuing your education? Or have you already made the leap? Share your experiences in the comments!