Benefits of Earning a Graduate Degree

Some people contemplate furthering their education via a graduate degree but aren’t positive if the extra cost and time commitment will be worth the effort.  Thankfully there is no preferred background for people that wish to earn an advanced degree.  People from various types of situations and backgrounds apply to graduate school on a regular basis.  But there are some common traits among the successful applicants.

Most graduate programs fall into one of two categories; the master’s degree or the doctoral degree.  In order to earn one of these prestigious diplomas people can choose from the following paths:

  1. A master’s program that takes one to two years
  2. 2. A traditional doctoral program that leads to a PhD
  3. 3. A combination of a PhD with a Master’s Degree program

It may seem overkill to get a combination degree.  However, a PhD is not simply a step above the master’s degree.  The master’s program specializes in a particular area of a much bigger topic.  In contrast, the emphasis of a PhD is intensive research that leads to more knowledge of a topic.

Students have the option to apply for graduate school immediately after finishing their bachelor’s degree or they can wait for a more opportune time.  Some people like to finish their bachelor’s program, start working in their field for a short time and then apply for graduate school.  This allows them a better income to pay for graduate college.  Although the topic is heavily debated, the general consensus is that a graduate degree will certainly lead to a higher income.

It is crucial that students get a firm idea of their future career before applying for a graduate program.  Every course covered in the program will deal in some part with only one particular industry.  Therefore, it makes sense that you enjoy this type of work and are intrigued by the advancements in this field.  Most people pursuing a graduate degree have at least one of these goals for their career:

  • To gain enough knowledge about an industry in order to begin their own business.
  • ·         To delve deeper into a subject that truly interests them.
  • To move further in their career either with their current employer or a new employer.
  • To begin working in an entirely new field.
  • To start working in a new career past retirement.
  • To start working in a field while they conduct research

Top Benefits of Graduate Programs

Without question the college experience is much different than life at high school.  When you enroll in graduate school you will see that it is much different than your experience at an undergraduate program.  Graduate programs typically involve lots of research as well as independent study.  Students often form strong bonds with professors as they continue to work on their research projects with advice from faculty members.  Many students receive multiple benefits from the newly formed connection with these professors.

One of the more rewarding benefits of graduate school is the increased knowledge about a subject that fuels your passion.  While many classes at the undergraduate level do not pertain to your chosen field, this is not the case for graduate programs.  At this level all of the courses are tied to a particular subject and a certain field, giving students a chance to acquire more knowledge and gain more skills pertinent to their career.

Advice for New Students

Try not to wait too long between undergraduate school and applying for a graduate program.  While many students feel like they are tired of school by the time they finish their bachelor’s degree, it is tough to return to school once you have been out for a while.

Some students are scared by the high cost of attending graduate school and stay away due to the cost.  However, multiple sources are available to provide scholarships, grants and even loans.  All of these resources can help cut the cost or pay the entire bill.  As a graduate student you can also apply for an assistant position to help a professor.

A large number of graduate students attend school on a part time basis in order to pursue work and free up time necessary for research.