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What to Think About Before Committing to Graduate School

Attending graduate school is a big life decision. If you've recently graduated from school and are considering an online MBA program, take into account the following factors before committing to graduate school and all the tasks that come with it.


“… committing to graduate school …”

Real World Experience: Do You Have Any?

Beyond a formal college education, having real world work experience will come in handy when you decide to go to graduate school. Professors who teach classes at the graduate level are usually leaders in their fields. They'll want students to think beyond the traditional ideas and subjects taught during your undergrad years, and real work experience will help you better understand the field you're trying to enter. Consider obtaining employment first, and getting your graduate degree on a part time basis. It might be worth the time to expand your work experience and resume.


“… having real world work experience will come in handy …”



How Will You Be Paying For It?

In most cases, graduate degree classes are more expensive than undergraduate work. Many recent college graduates are burdened by thousands of dollars of student loans that must be paid off. If you think you can afford to attend graduate school while paying off these loans, carefully budget out your monthly expenses first. A part time job or paid internship might be a good choice for keeping you afloat.

Are You Burned Out?

After four or more years of college, many students feel burned out and want to take a break. All-nighters combined with stressful classes and term papers make for a very stressful college career. If you feel burned out and you can't handle another day in class, it might be time to take a break and get a job before you commit to graduate school. You might find, living and working on your own is just what you needed after all your work in academia.


“… many students feel burned out …”



What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses but people often find out what they are later in life. The same holds true for young people who have just finished college. Many graduates go on to realize that the subject of their major isn't what they really wanted to do, or through work experience find something that better suits their talents. Your decision to get a graduate degree might be based on the type of degree you want. A business administration Masters can be applied to a variety of different fields, while a Master's in Music can only be applied to one. If your major will allow you to enter different business sectors, and you know you want more options, then committing to graduate school might be a good idea. 


“… committing to graduate school might be a good idea.”

Determining whether or not you want to go to graduate school now should be based on affordability, time constraints, and your subject of study. Consider a hybrid schedule of work and graduate courses if you're still unsure about attending on a full time basis. Hopefully you can make a decision that works best for you.

"Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan."



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