Finishing four years of college to get an undergraduate degree is a challenge of its own. After you get your diploma, you can either enter the workforce and get a job, or you can decide to continue your education and go to graduate school. The completion of graduate school will earn you a diploma with a Masters Degree in the field of your choice.
As every decision that needs to be made, graduate school too has its costs and benefits which may be direct or indirect, manifest now or later in life. That is why in order to help you decide as to why go to graduate school, we have compiled a list of 10 reasons to go to Grad School.
So why should I go to Grad School?
Specialize in your field of interest
One of the main reasons to attend graduate school is because you are passionate about a certain field of study and want to know everything that there is to know in it. In other words, you want to become an expert in a particular area. Graduate school is the perfect way to gain more knowledge and skills in whatever you are interested in and be deemed an expert.
Increase your salary
A great way to boost your earnings and one of the benefits of Masters Degree is the fact that it enhances your salary potential.
It has been shown that graduates with a Master’s Degree earn roughly $500,000 more income over a lifetime in comparison to other lower educational levels.
Individual annual salaries most often double in amount when someone has graduated with a Masters Degree. So if you are an ambitious earner and are asking yourself “Is grad school for me?”, then the answer based on this fact is yes.
Moving up the company chain is difficult and challenging with many obstacles in the way. However, if you want to even out the playing field and get promoted faster, then you should definitely go to grad school. A Master’s Degree shows that you are committed and hard working and will grant you that promotion much faster than if you only had a Bachelor’s Degree.
Stand out in the job market
If you are facing difficulties in finding a job because your qualifications are the same as everyone else’s, a great way to build your resume and add credibility to your skills and knowledge is by getting a Master’s Degree. The diploma will automatically increase your employability and you will stand out amongst the hundreds or thousands of job applicants who want the same job position as you.
The labor market is becoming increasingly competitive and a graduate school degree is one way to pave the road to getting a better job.
Create a network
Having a good network of people with whom you share ideas, resources, and potentially even help each other in finding good opportunities is key in the challenging job environment of today. The people in your network will be there to support you and pick you up if you are having a tough time navigating the job market. Educational institutions are the places where people form their strongest networks and one of the reasons to pursue graduate studies is to build such a network.
Graduate school is full of people who are like minded, intelligent, and aspire to achieve professional excellence. That is why if you get a Master’s Degree, you will graduate with a list of contacts with whom you will not only be friends, but also colleagues and potential business partners.
Become an academic
Aspiring professors or academics will have to go through the whole educational system and complete every necessary step. You will not be allowed to teach with only a Bachelor’s Degree without a post-graduate degree.
With a Master’s Degree you can become an adjunct professor and then plan your research thesis for potentially obtaining a PhD. So if your goals include teaching and building the capabilities of future generations, you should definitely enroll in a Masters program of your chosen field.
Publish your research
Undergraduate degree research is mostly general and does not go into depth to explore intricacies of any field. The more you advance your education, the more your research will be taken seriously and into consideration for publication.
A master’s degree is necessary for the academics who want to conduct independent studies and experiments and publish their results, findings, and recommendations in reputable journals.
If you possess a Master’s Degree then you can influence economic and political landscapes and policies, change perceptions and attitudes, and be able to participate in prestigious conferences with professionals of your caliber.
Change Career Paths
Your undergraduate degree might have been in a field in which you are now not interested in or there is little to no potential for employment and development. One way you could go about switching to something outside your area of expertise is by obtaining a Master’s Degree. Going to grad school will introduce you to your new field of interest and present interesting career opportunities.
In order to gain the basic knowledge which you lack since you did not have previous education or training in that area, you might be required to take basic or introductory level courses.
However, at the end when you are awarded your degree, you will be side by side to someone who finished a Bachelor’s Degree in that field.
Gain recognition and prestige
One of the reasons to pursue graduate studies is that it conveys a certain prestige and reputation to others. Specifically, employers and others with whom you will conduct business and have professional relations with, will regard you in a higher esteem than if you only had a Bachelor’s Degree.
The diploma you will get carries a lot of weight with it since you will be deemed an expert in the field and asked to state your professional opinion in various media and journals.
Many universities in different countries will actually pay students who are enrolled in graduate studies. Some programs might require you to work as a teaching or research assistant and these positions have high reputations and are paid considerably.
Universities implement these systems to ease the burden of expenses from students as well as have them undergo training and gain experience in teaching and research. Both teaching and research assistantships are competitive positions which benefit students in the long run when they start searching for jobs.
Questions to ask yourself before deciding
There are many proponents of higher education who flaunt the benefits of Masters Degree, but if you find yourself asking “Should I go to Grad School?” and “Is a Master’s Degree Worth It?”, then it is better to think about it in more depth to be able to answer those questions.
- Does it align with your goals? – Different people have different goals and aspirations that they want to achieve in life, and grad school might or might not fit in with those plans. So to be able to decide, you should clearly know what you want to achieve with a Master’s Degree and know what your goals are.
- Are you being pressured into it?– Family members and more specifically parents often have visions of what they want their children to achieve. Their dream for you could be to attend grad school so they will constantly encourage you to enroll. Your friends could also be enrolling and finishing their graduate degrees, so you might feel like you are missing out and like you should do the same. If you want to go to graduate school for these reasons, then don’t. You should be the one to want to further your education and should absolutely never fall prey to the pressures that other people put on you.
- Do the benefits outweigh the costs?– After reading the 10 benefits listed above and evaluating their importance to your goals and aspirations, you should also consider the costs that accompany obtaining a Master’s Degree. Graduate school is expensive and takes a few years to complete. You will end up getting student loans and not being able to work for the duration of your studies, unless you complete it as distance learning. Getting a Master’s Degree also takes a lot of self-discipline and you need to be able to handle the stress and complete your work on deadline. However, if the benefits of you getting a Master’s Degree and going to grad school are more than the costs, then you should start planning your graduate school applications and experience.