By Mackenzie Foster
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
Many college students that are on their way to graduate college experience a second time of decision making: The decision to complete another year in graduate school or start looking for other options. Students that have earned a four-year degree must decide whether they are willing to spend more time, money and effort on another year of school. They must ask themselves if it is worth the hard work.
Graduate school is a good opportunity for students to further their education and their chances of finding a well-structured job. Graduate school provides students with more experience and broadens their resumes. There are more opportunities to move up in their field. Many careers require a certain level of education, but not all. So, the decision to go to graduate school can depend on the required level of education that your career looks for, and if you want to have more opportunities to move up in your chosen field.
Graduate school may be a decision you are considering, but there are many other factors that come in to play when deciding. The financial aspect is a particular part of one’s decision to consider graduate school. According to educationdata.org, the cost of graduate school can range from $30,000-$120,000. This cost of tuition varies based on your major, school, and how long you want to continue your education. Many people consider graduate school, but the biggest obstacle is how they are going to pay for the experience. Students may consider taking out a loan or seeing if they qualify for financial aid, but these options can be a weight on their shoulders and a nuance. This obstacle may deter students from considering graduate school, even if they need it for their field.
Some students that are considering graduate school may worry about completing another year or more of education because of the workload that comes with graduate school. The student has already completed four years of schoolwork and may not want to extend that workload in graduate school. Savannah, a graduate student, said that graduate school was “Definitely more work than undergrad, but conceptually it’s not any more difficult.” Some students agree with this idea that graduate school is like undergraduate, in that the work requested of them is not dramatically more than what they have already experienced. Abby Hillery said, “The workload is a little more than undergraduate, but it’s basically what I already learned.” So, for students considering graduate school but are worried about the workload that comes with the experience, just remember it is a continuum of your time as an undergraduate student.
Many people when considering graduate school worry about the time they must put in to earn their degree, especially after completing four years prior. But to many, the extra year is worth it in the end. Deciding to spend extra time at graduate school depends on how easy it is for you to find a job within your field. If your major allows you to easily find a stable job, then graduate school may not be an option you have to choose. But for some majors, your field requires you to have more experience than four years, so graduate school is something that you need to receive that required experience. If this is the case, many find that one year at graduate school is more beneficial to them in the long run. Lorrie Shinners said that graduate school is a “Long-term investment, not an immediate one.” The idea that graduate school is an experience that benefits you in the future, and in the long run, is a reason many decide to spend the extra year completing graduate school. For many, the time they put in completing graduate school is worth it because it provides more opportunities for growth and movement within your field. So, when considering graduate school, remember that the extra time you put in, completing that year of graduate school, will have long-lasting benefits and can open more doors for you in your field.
When considering graduate school, many people may decide not to enroll in graduate school because of the toll it can take on mental, emotional and physical aspects of you. After completing four years of education, you may not want to experience another year or more. Some students may be passionate about their field and want to continue their passion by completing graduate school. Some students find that graduate school is a convenient step to finding a steady job. But many studies by certain universities have found that graduate students experience an influx of downfalls.blogs.scientificamerican.com discuss the emotional toll graduate students face. Graduate students are three times more to experience mental health issues such as depression. Many graduate students question their choice to complete another year or more of education, and many force themselves to finish their schooling because they rather have more job opportunities than to struggle finding a well-paying job. So, when considering graduate school, keep in mind the mental toll it may have on you.
If you are a student considering applying to graduate school, keep in mind the many aspects that are involved. Depending on your major, you may need more than four years of experience to have more opportunities in your field. Graduate school can provide you with more chances to move up in your specific area and make you stand out to potential jobs.
Graduate school is a great opportunity for many, but before you invest in this long-term experience, keep in mind what it requires of you. You will need to put in more time in completing this experience. You will need to consider the financial requirements when enrolling in graduate school, but research what available options there are to help you. Graduate school is going to be emotionally and mentally taxing on you, as well. So, consider those aspects, too, before investing in graduate school.
Overall, graduate school is a common decision among many students who want to continue their education and have more opportunities provided to them in their fields, but graduate school isn’t for everyone. So make sure to consider all that graduate school has to offer before you decide to invest in yourself.
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