|Here are a few things to consider before taking the plunge into graduate school:|
If you've racked up a high amount of student loans in your undergraduate years, you may want to wait and pay some of your debt down before going to graduate school. It's easy to write essays for me of how much you owe while you're in school since you're not seeing any bills until you graduate. Once you graduate and start getting those bills, however, you may find you have accumulated $100,000 (or more) in loans. This can be overwhelming, especially if you don't make a lot of money to start. Consider how much you will be making in your chosen field in relation to the amount of loans you'll be paying back, and whether going to graduate school would be a worthwhile investment.
It's a good idea to gain real world experience in your field. Employers are looking for education, but they are also looking for concrete experience. While a Master's degree provides a lot of knowledge, nothing can replace the application of that knowledge.
In gaining experience, you may also realize that you don't particularly love your field, in which case you'll be saving yourself lots of precious time and energy - not to mention your precious dollars.
It's also good to gain working experience because it may affect your bottom line. For example, you might be torn between two different programs. While deciding, you can explore your options by taking a job, internship, or volunteer position in the areas you're considering furthering your education in. In doing so, you might discover you like one over the other, or you might find a whole new passion in your field. You could even find it's not for you at all.
3. You may already have what it takes
You might be able to land a career with your Bachelor's degree. Sometimes, depending on your career goals, you don't need a Master's in order to do what you most want to do. This is especially good to consider if you're on the fence about continuing your education.
Do research in your field, job shadow, talk to employers who interest you, and just see what the requirements are in your field in relation to your career goals. This can do a great deal to clarify your decision.
No matter what you decide to do in your education and career path, it's good to weigh your options. Going to graduate school is not a decision to be taken lightly. It's a choice you most definitely want to be sure about. You may even have fun and enjoy exploring all of your options. Follow your dreams and choose the best path for you!