Many American adults are pursuing ato stand out in the competitive job market, increase their earnings, advance in their current career, or change their career. Whether you are fresh out of an undergraduate program or have been out of school for a number of years, graduate school is a commitment. While an additional degree to write on your resume, larger paycheck, or impressive title sounds appealing, the road requires hours of work and studying. requires mental and circumstantial readiness.
How to Know If You Are Ready for Graduate School
- You Are Confident about Your Program of Study
In order to save valuable time and money, you must be 100 percent sure about your program of study. For some of you, you may just want to learn more about the subject that you studied in as an undergraduate. If you want to advance in your current career or change careers, you should consult your employers, career counselors, and university advisors on which subject you study. For example, if you are a teacher who wants to eventually advance into administration, you need to know if a master’s degree in education or a master’s in school administration is the better route.
- You Have a Clear Idea about What You Will Do with Your Graduate Degree
You need to have the right motivations for pursuing a graduate degree. If you are thinking about going into graduate school just to increase your knowledge of a subject, you may be making a mistake because you will be less motivated to put in the necessary work. If your end goal is to change careers or advance in your current career, you need to be sure that you will be able to get a job in that field or get that promotion. If you are looking to start bringing home a bigger paycheck upon graduation, you need to be sure that the raise will be worth it, even with the extra school loans.
- You Understand the Financial Cost
Graduate school can cost thousands of dollars. There are less scholarships and grants offered for graduate programs. Federal student loans often have a limit; therefore, you may have used all or most of your limit for undergraduate studies. If you have reached your federal loan limit, you will have to get a private student loan, which may have a higher interest rate and require a co-signer. Jobs often pay for master’s programs. PhD programs are often offer grants and stipends. If your primary motivation for earning a graduate degree is to increase your earnings, you will need to do the math to see if the extra money is worth it in the long-term because student loans can take decades to pay off.
- You Are Prepared to Take the Tests
Many graduate programs require an entrance test. Master’s programs typically require you to take the GRE or GMAT tests. If you are interested in becoming a medical doctor, you will need to take the MCAT test to get into medical school. The good news is that there is an abundance ofis offer for free online and in many communities. MCAT preparation should be taken seriously because taking the test costs several hundred dollars.
- You Know Have a List of Schools in Mind that Can Accommodate Your Lifestyle
Just like looking for an undergraduate program, you will need to be aware which schools are best for your program of study. However, you will need to find a program that is conducive to your current lifestyle. You may need a program that offers online courses, night courses, housing, or is close to home.