Should I apply to grad school?

Should I apply to grad school?

Should I apply to grad school?

When you’re thinking about applying to grad school, there are lots of factors to consider:

  1. Does my desired career path required this advanced degree?

  2. What do I get from investing the next 1-6 years in my education, as opposed to working?

  3. How much will grad school cost, after everything is said and done?

If you want to be a professor, an advanced degree is essentially required. There are some roles for lecturers and some departments that might be flexible on this requirement if you have significant career experience. However, there are also a lot of industries where an advanced degree might be negligible in your career. You can find arguments for why an MBA is a good/bad/neutral value add to your career. If you’re in the category where an advanced degree is not required, then move on to consider the second question.

If you were to invest the next few years of your life into education, would you get more from that than working? Let’s say you have a job offer for an entry-level data analyst, but you’re also considering going to grad school for data science. What will you learn in a year as a data analyst? Do you have a path forward to becoming a data scientist? Then compare that to grad school outcomes. You can reach out to a recent graduate or the school itself and ask where their grads are placing. Are grads from this advanced degree getting the jobs that you want?

Lastly, you have to consider the cost of attending grad school. Not only will you have to pay tuition, but you’re also forfeiting wages you would earn from working. Unlike undergrad where there can be significant financial aid, a lot of graduate programs provide limited financial aid. Student loan rates can be significant, so consider how much you would need to borrow. There are also some industries and companies that will pay for your advanced degree. That can be a great alternative path to advanced degrees without shouldering the financial burden.

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