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First, start by making sure your overall goal is achievable by earning your graduate degree. Part of this process is making sure you choose a field of study that suits your personality and your academic or professional goals. Next you can determine if an online or traditional campus experience will fit your needs. Once you have all of that information, pick a few grad schools and request information about the specific program you are interested in. From there, you will then need to understand requirements for the application process.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who earned a Master's degree in 2016 earned about $25,000 more per year when compared to all workers; and people who earned a Doctorate degree in 2016 earned about $40,000 more per year when compared to all workers.ii
Top 5 Barriers Students Face When Looking For Graduate Schools
Finding the right graduate school is not easy for everyone. Life happens, and for various reasons some folks may face challenges they think may prevent them from becoming a graduate student. We have extensively researched these biggest pain points and are happy to say, you do have options! Here is our list of top 5 resolutions to your biggest issues.
Top 4 Reasons Students Seek An Advanced Graduate Degree
#1 Career Change
According to a recent Aslanian Market Research report, more than 80% of respondents cited a career change as the #1 reason for continuing education[iii]. The reality is, when looking for a new job past experience may not be relevant enough to switch careers without going back to school.
Fortunately, most graduate degree programs do not require an applicant to have majored in the same content area, which makes it easier for someone to pursue a graduate degree in a new field as long as they at least hold a bachelor's degree.
#2 Differentiate Yourself
While a profession may not require an advanced degree, it may be helpful to advance or to distinguish yourself from the pack.
Some people may choose to specialize in certain areas of a particular subject such as a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) or a Masters of Taxation (MTax), MS in Strategic Human Resource Management (MSSHRM), an MS or a MHA in Gerontology just to name a few.
While a four-year bachelor’s degree used to be enough to reach most career goals, in today’s world a graduate degree may set you apart.
#3 Potential Salary Increase
Naturally advancing in a career could lead to higher pay, however, the attainment of a graduate degree also has the potential to increase earning potential in certain fields[ii].
For example, in the education field, the degree you have earned could determine your pay scale (in combination with the amount of years one has worked)[iv].
If you are considering going to graduate school for this reason, be very careful to weigh the costs of education (including the loss of earnings if you go to school full time) with your potential salary after graduation.
#4 Required For a Position
It is common undertstanding that practice-based doctorates are required for highly regarded and skilled careers such as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) in order to practice law.
But, it is also true for other professional occupations as well!. It is qutie typical that a teacher can't become an adminitrator without earning a Supervisors Certificate or a MA in Education Leadership.[iv]
And it doesn't stop there, the same can be true for Physical Therapists, Counselors, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, and Social Workers.[v]
While the undergrad years are marked by generalist coursework, graduate school typically entails more highly-focused studies and research in a chosen discipline. To this end, many grad school programs encourage students to narrow down their interests through a concentration. This focal area is often used to anchor independent research, internship experience, supervised practice and/or teaching. Learn more about the basics of grad school and view a comprehensive list of Grad School Majors.
Ok, you've researched your preferred graduate degree, and have applied to multiple graduate schools. Now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty of your chosen graduate school's requirements as well as figuring out how you are going to finance your higher education degree.
It is possible you may be required to take part in a one on one or group interview. Show 'em what a stellar candidate you are by preparing your answers to some of the more commonly asked questions by colleges.
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EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features. The sources for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.