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Graduate School- Is it Right for You?

September 17, 2021

An increasing number of employers are requiring graduate degrees as their roles are becoming more competitive.  This is being driven by the constant pressure to perform in more diverse enterprises and to begin contributing to the bottom line almost immediately. However,  it is important to understand your motives and to identify specific reasons for wanting to attain a masters degree. The most common reasons that students go into a graduate program include  teaching at  university or  inspired professions such as becoming a lawyer or a doctor. The purpose of this article is to provide students with resources and multiple perspectives in understanding and providing some clarity if graduate school is the right step for you. Graduate school is intended to serve as a platform to better your career and develop an individual to be more academically rounded in specialized areas. According to the Harvard Business review, it is understood that in the past 20 years including recent times,  the  enrollment numbers to graduate school has increased by 27 percent. There are multiple factors that students have to consider in deciding if graduate school is right for them. These include the financial burden of committing to another two or three years of school. Also,  the workload is a lot more challenging. It demands a big commitment of your time. It is important to fully appreciate these factors before pursuing a graduate degree. We will now look at some of the best possible reasons why you should enter a graduate program. 

 

 

  • A Graduate degree can improve your professional options and career advancement.

 

Graduate school is a great place to build your professional  network with peers and professors as you are seen as an individual who is developing themselves towards advanced skills. If you have had work experience, and are looking to improve your role or seek a new role, graduate school can help in discovering new areas of focus. Additionally, in terms of potential careers that are available globally, the most “in-demand” jobs require graduate degrees as a minimum entry academic qualification.

 

  • Knowing your ROI

 

As graduate school is more expensive than a bachelor's degree, it is important to know exactly what your return on investment is in the long-term, and knowing your potential salary increase from gaining a graduate degree. Additionally, knowing how much debt you may accumulate from going to grad school, and being able to weigh the costs and benefits is a valuable process that helps put yourself in the best possible position to be committed in the graduate program. Some graduate programs are more affordable than others and still provide a great quality education from a respected and recognized institution. For example, Idaho State University's graduate tuition is just over $5000 per semester for Idaho residents or about $14,000 for non-residents. However, those pursuing an online degree in the Master of Business Administration, MBA, or Master of Healthcare Administration, MHA, program can complete their degree at the resident tuition rate regardless of where they live. A cost break is beneficial to understand the different allocated expenses such as the cost for books, housing, tuition, etc. For more details, Idaho State informs potential students and current students about the cost breakdown each semester that can be found at isu.edu/cost.

  1. Higher academic accomplishment 

Having the opportunity to challenge yourself in attaining a higher level of education is a major accomplishment and confidence booster for entering the job market. A graduate degree can give you higher level skills or hone in specialized skills that set you up for a successful career. 

 

  • More Opportunity to move into higher roles

 

Certain roles such as being able to teach at the university level requires a master's degree or higher. It is important to identify the roles you wish to pursue or have high priority options towards your desired career path. Higher management roles may require a masters degree level, so it is beneficial in knowing the requirements of higher roles that you aspire to pursue.

Finally, it is important to understand that you have to be 100 percent committed in knowing that a graduate degree is something that you really want to pursue. A career plan after your graduate degree is extremely beneficial in understanding the skills you need to further your career. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being self-driven and that you are at a point in your life where you know you are going to be a successful graduate student because you have a  purpose towards a specific career path. 

If you are upon graduation or are looking to go back to school from a full-time position, Idaho State University offers many Graduate Assistant positions where students can earn free tuition and a stipend for their work. At the College of Business,graduate and lab assistant positions are available for students seeking to get their tuition covered and are available to top quality students. But, students have to apply by Oct. 1 to be considered for these positions. If you are a student that has decided to pursue their graduate degree and is planning on taking the GRE and GMAT, the College of Business is offering test prep sessions on September 28. Please use the following links to register: GRE: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eiegp3gz3922863f&oseq=&c=&ch= GMAT: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=x5mnu5oab&oeidk=a07eiegpy6x29544e3c  

 For information about the graduate programs at the College of Business, please contact Kristine mcCarty, Director of Graduate Studies, mccakris@isu.edu. The final deadline to apply to the graduate programs at the College of Business including the MBA, MHA, and Master of Accountancy is Nov. 1.  




Work Cited

Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2020, January 12). Should you go to graduate school? Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/01/should-you-go-to-graduate-school. 

Jason Patel. Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion, Patel, A. J., Author: Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion, & View all posts by Jason Patel. (2019, August 1). How to really know if grad school is the right decision. Niche. Retrieved September 10, 2021, from https://www.niche.com/blog/how-to-really-know-if-grad-school-is-the-right-decision/.