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Graduate school or not?

 

Choosing to attend graduate school is not a simple task. There are many positive and negative sides. So, how do you navigate the world of this decision? Refer to experts and friends, and do your homework so you know what you’re getting into.

“Graduate school constitutes an advanced program of study focused on a particular academic discipline or profession,” according to the Career Center. “It is a more concentrated course of study, and expectations regarding the quality and quantity of your academic work are greater.”

That sounds prestigious and desirable, yet challenging, but is it worth it? There are pros and cons to graduate school. And it’s best to know both sides before deciding.

The first benefit is that it may increase your career options. Assistant Director of Admissions at Tulsa College of Law, Megan Henson loves her job. It is a J.D. [ Juris Doctor], preferred position so her decision to go to law school allowed her to have a position that would have been difficult to get otherwise.

According to a study by Georgetown University, another benefit is earning a higher salary. The study was based on 15 common fields of study for graduate school. The median earnings of those with a graduate degree are 38.3 percent higher than those in the same field with a bachelor’s degree.

The first drawback is that graduate school is more time in a classroom. Many students are ready to go into the work force after spending four extra years in school already. Emily Mendoza, a junior at OSU, always wanted to go to graduate school to get her master’s degree, but now she can’t imagine spending more time not making money.

Another drawback is taking another standardized test such as the MCAT, LSAT and GRE. Each test requires extra studying and hard work. Graduate school is also more rigorous and stressful than undergraduate.

There is also fewer scholarships and financial aid available.

With these pros and cons, it may still be confusing which path is right. However, do the research and understand all sides of the question, then the decision will be the right one. Good luck!

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