What to Do When You Complete Your Graduate Degree

For those people that were working in a full time job and pursued a graduate degree in order to advance further with the company don't have a lot to worry about after they graduate.  People who are in graduate school to start work in a new field will need to spend some time focusing on finding a job.  It is wise to lay out a plan during the spring semester.  By the time you reach graduation many companies will already be actively looking for new employees and you may get lost in the shuffle if you don't already have your strategy in place.

When it comes to looking for work there are good points and bad points.  As far as the bad points go, looking for work can take some time.  As time passes by you may feel discouraged by the whole process.  The good thing is that you have a respected degree on your resume and you have specialized knowledge of a specific field. 

Handling Your Student Debt

It is possible that you will have some type of debt to manage due to your time in college.  If you do a little research online you will see that people have varying opinions concerning the monetary rewards from earning a graduate degree.  Your particular master's degree has a large part in determining your future potential earnings.

If you are in a situation where you will need to borrow in order to cover the costs of college it is best to start your search for scholarships as well as grants.  These are funds that you don’t have to pay back.  If you end up getting a student loan carefully review the terms.  You may be able to get a federal student loan which offers lower interest rates and more favorable terms.

Generally speaking, a master’s degree from a field of science usually results in higher paying jobs compared to a master’s degree from a filed in the arts.  The business administration master’s degree, often referred to as an MBA is still one of the top paying degrees.  Before applying for the graduate program and going through the time and cost of gaining an extra degree make sure it will pay off in the future. 

Finding Work after Graduation

Based on the continued weakened economy there are several graduate schools that are taking a more proactive role in using their career counselors to help graduates in their job search.  One positive example comes from the management graduate school at Cornell University.  At the start of the school year all students were assigned an advisor from the career counselor’s office.  95% of the students were able to find work by the time the school year finished.  Talking to your school’s career counselor could be as much benefit for you.

You should begin to look at companies that may be interested in hiring someone with your degree.  Find out as much as you can about the company as well as the people responsible for hiring.  Contact the person to ask them about a potential meeting.  Have a meaningful conversation with the person where you learn as much as possible about the company and where you can also make a good first impression.

It is always wise to apply for multiple internship positions while you are in graduate school. This will give you exposure to different companies and could possibly lead to your next job.  If you do not find work with one of those companies you will at least build up your network and possibly find work through one of your contacts.

Some jobs may ask you to move to a different city or request that you take a lesser position not exactly suited to your degree.  Besides finding a spot with an existing company there is always the option of starting up your own company.  With your new found knowledge the sky is the limit to beginning a new business and filling a necessary need.