Getting a higher education is something millions of people strive for and achieve all the time. But how much school is too much? After undergraduate school, a lot of students choose to go on to earn their master’s or doctorate in their major of study. But with the financial burden and emotional stress that school can cause, it’s important to know whether or not going on after undergrad is worth it for your career.
For some career paths, a master’s degree or higher is essential to a successful future. While having a higher degree is impressive, it doesn’t always mean it is better for your career.
Here are 3 important questions you should ask yourself before applying to grad school to determine whether or not it is a good idea for you.
Do you need an advanced degree to get the job you want?
There are a lot of fields that require a master’s degree or doctorate to obtain a job, like careers in medicine, research, politics, or law. But there are also a ton of positions that don’t require a higher degree to have a very successful career. To find out if you absolutely need a master’s or higher in your chosen field, you can look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, where you can find skills and education requirements by job title. If you don’t need a degree after your bachelor’s to have the career you want, you may want to reconsider the expense.
Can you get paid more with a graduate degree?
While a lot of fields don’t require a higher degree to have a great career, it can put you at a higher pay-grade if you have one. Teaching is a great example of this, teachers with a master’s degrees can expect more job stability, higher-pay, better benefits, and more opportunities to be promoted to administrative positions like principal, superintendent according to Best College Reviews. Before you spend up to $200 on applications, you should research more about the benefits of obtaining a master’s degree.
Are you just going to school to put off “the real world”?
Continuing with your schooling is a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally. It’s also the perfect excuse to put off getting a real job. If going to grad school is something that you really want to do and if it is beneficial to your career, you should go. But if you are about to spend money on a degree that you don’t really need in an effort to put off getting out into the real world, then you should reconsider. If you are unsure about your career path, it’s ok to take a little more time and work a part-time job or take a few internships before committing.
Getting an education is all about bettering yourself, and whatever that means is up to you. Weigh your options and make the decision that is best for you.