Like many of my fellow millennials, this is the time of year is when I begin to miss my years in undergrad. From hanging out in Schine Student Center to quadding on beautiful summer and fall days, the memories I made during my four years at Syracuse University will remain with me forever. So since I miss the college atmosphere so much, why not return to get my graduate degree?
That sounds easier that done of course, but there are so many things to consider before I take the leap of faith and go back to grad school. For those of you that are considering heading back to school, here are three major things to consider:
1. Money: If you are a working your professional like myself, the thought of halting a steady stream of income to return to school sounds a bit far fetched. Often when I ask friends if they want to return to get their advanced degree, they always say “I’m not going back unless someone pays for it.” Point taken friend, I agree with you! That’s why it’s important to review the policies of your currently employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement. Since the purpose is to get your degree in order to advance your career, your employer will more than likely support your efforts. Additionally, you must consider the idea of footing another costly tuition bill, taking out more student loans (Hey Sallie Mae girl) and the possibility of moving to another place. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Location: Do you want to get your degree online or return back to campus for the full experience? With the advancement of education technology, there are now many top-tier graduate programs that are offered on unique online platforms. Getting your degree online also could yield the opportunity for you to continue working and getting money. However, if you are looking to change your current scenery and miss being inside of the classroom with fresh notebooks and pencils, then making the move to get your master’s degree is the opportunity to do it! There are a plethora of great universities and colleges to choose from across the country and even overseas. Maybe you went to a PWI for undergrad and want to attend an HBCU for graduate school — go for it! Location is also a major thing to consider because it could determine the job market you hope to pursue after you complete you program. And you never know, you may just fall in love with the city or town you choose and stay there beyond graduation.
3. Program: Finally, this is probably the most important thing to consider. So you’ve saved the money, picked your location (online or traditional), but what are you going to study? While I totally commend those individuals that have gone into graduate school directly from undergrad, I’m quiet grateful for this time that I’ve had in the workforce thus far to really hone in my skills in the field that I’m most passionate. And because I’m enthusiastic about so many things, I hope to pursue a degree that will give me the opportunity to build upon each of those passions. If you are considering going back to school, I would highly suggest that you take an inventory of the things that you are good at, what your work experience has been, and where you hope to take your career in the future. It’s great that we aspire to have a few letters behind our names, but it’s important to note that obtaining an advanced degree should enhance our career goals and aspirations. Be very particular about what you hope to get out of your program, the resources that your school has to offer, as well as alumni networking and career opportunities.
Are you currently in graduate school or soon will be? What are somethings you considered before you enrolled into your program? Send me your responses via Twitter or by commenting below.
Have a great weekend!