The decision to attend graduate school requires serious consideration. It’s important to understand your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree and to research your options carefully. In this process, you will need to evaluate your interests and career goals. The Career Center is here to assist you in every step of the process.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do my career goals require an advanced or specialized degree?
This may take some research on your part. Talk with faculty members, advisors, and the Career Center; set up an informational interview with a professional in your field of interest; search the requirements in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (http://stats.bls.gov/ocohome.htm).
Where do I want to be in 5 years & what do I need to do to get there?
Am I truly committed to & passionate about this next step?
Do I need experience for my respective program before applying?
What do I need to be successful in graduate school?
First & foremost, it takes self-awareness regarding your interests and abilities for your chosen program. Secondly, it requires motivation, commitment, and a positive attitude. Find someone who has taken this step, and talk with them about their experience.
When should I begin preparing for grad school?
Start EARLY! Even if you’re not sure you will pursue an advanced degree, allocate the appropriate time for academic choices, co-curricular involvement, and relationships with those who may one day serve as references. Application deadlines vary, so begin your research at least 1 to 1 and ½ years before it’s time to make the critical decision.
Poor reasons for pursuing graduate studies:
You want to please someone, or you feel it is expected of you.
You don’t know what else to do.
You are comfortable in a college setting and want to postpone entering “the world of work.”