Monday, March 9, 2015

Grad School: When Should You Take the Next Step?

I always thought that I would come out of my undergraduate years in college and immediately enter the professional world. As a communications major, it never crossed my mind to consider graduate school.

Even when I started my undergraduate career, the only thought I had about in regards to graduate school was the possibility of being paid by an employer to get a higher degree later in my professional career. I had heard that some companies were willing to help their employees advance their careers through further education, but again, I was mainly focused on graduating with a four-year degree first!

This is a common mindset among communication majors. When asked about graduate school, oftentimes, individuals do not see a need to jump into a further degree in our field right away.
However, as the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it may be time for students to change their thinking.

Universities are beginning to see the change in job market as well, and many schools are starting to offer accelerated programs for students to earn their master’s degree is less time or even during and after their undergraduate careers.

The positive side to starting an upper level degree as soon as possible is that students still have the academic momentum from their undergraduate work to put towards this new opportunity. Oftentimes, waiting until you have been out of college for a while can make it harder for you to get back into the rigorous environment of continuing education.

Also, you will never know where your life will go in a few years. It can be difficult to return to college once you have a family and other commitments. By starting a master’s degree earlier rather than later, you will be able to plan ahead and know your limits better than trying to predict things well in advance. Of course, nothing is set in stone, but it is much better to plan ahead for the next few years than for many years in the future.

What are your thoughts on starting graduate school sooner rather than later? Tell us in the comments below!

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