Executive Education

Make a Wise Choice! 5 Things To Know Before Pursuing Graduate Degree 

''Bachelor and Master'' written in pink on a keyboard

Getting a graduate degree is always a good option. After all, there is nothing wrong with securing an advanced degree that serves as a certificate of better learning and understanding. Moreover, it adds to your credentials and improves your job prospects. However, all of these are the outcomes of a Master’s degree. The first step is the decision-making one: you have to decide whether or not you should actually pursue a graduate degree right now.

Just like any other life-impacting decision of our lives, we end up thinking a great deal about the whole idea of a graduate degree. People you ask will offer diverse opinions; some will favor it and some will reject it. The decision, however, ultimately lies on you. A range of factors will have to be kept in mind and deliberated upon before you apply for a graduate degree. For starters, you can begin with the ones I have enumerated below. There are 5 things you should necessarily consider before you choose to pursue a Master’s degree.

  1. Not a bad idea to gain work experience
    Upon completing your under-graduation, you will become eligible for entry-level jobs. Such jobs do not generally require a graduate degree from applicants. Gaining work experience will help you become eligible for higher positions, especially after post-graduation. If by chance, you do directly apply for graduate school, then you might face problems afterward. You will be overqualified for entry-level jobs and may not have a better pay scale. It is always, therefore, better to have work experience first and then do a graduate degree.

  2. You will need money
    Another reason why you should work before getting a graduate degree is that graduate schools can be very expensive. Of course, much depends on the area of study. Whether or not you are going abroad your bank accounts will bear the brunt. You can either self-finance or take a loan. Either way, there is money flowing out. So, make sure you are mentally prepared to pursue a graduate degree. In fact, some universities cost exorbitantly but may not offer graduate courses as good as the ones with less expensive tuition fees. Moreover, there are several scholarships all over the world for those interested in graduate courses abroad or locally.

  3. Online Degrees Are Not Very Dependable
    Lately, a lot of students have begun opting for online graduate courses. Many of these courses are being offered by notable institutions and are very good, academically speaking. However, they may not have practical utility as many universities across the globe do not treat them at par with conventional Master’s degrees. Just in case you want to pursue an online graduate course, you must exercise due diligence and ensure that the course is certified, recognized in your country of residence, and offered by reputed institutions. Only go for online degree courses unless you can opt for a regular one for whatsoever reason.

  4. A Master’s Degree is very much about practical skills
    Many undergraduate courses focus on the theoretical leanings of the subject. In a graduate degree program, things are different. A good curriculum for a graduate degree program must focus on the development of practical skills. Some examples include the inclusion of industrial visits, expert talks, internship programs, and whatnot. Since graduate courses also focus on research, the curriculum should ensure that students undertake empirical research under supervision. It is, thus, very important that you pay attention to the curriculum; talk to graduates; and seek career counseling, if need be. Do not waste your money on a degree program that you could have mastered by simply reading the right books at home.

  5. You might want to specialize
    While you don’t need to seek specialization in your graduate course, it is always beneficial to do so. The recent trends show that HRs are more inclined towards hiring individuals with a specific set of skills. It is not that they have become skeptical of those with general graduate degrees; they find dealing with those with specialization easier as these graduates do not require the regular amount of training and resources to work. However, one thing you must remember: do not go for specialization unless you have an interest in the area concerned. A general graduate degree is good enough in that case.

Alexandra Dimitropoulou

Alexandra Dimitropoulou

VP and News Editor
Alexandra Dimitropoulou is a VP and News Editor at CEOWORLD magazine, working to build and strengthen the brand’s popular, consumer-friendly content. In addition to running the company’s website, CEOWORLD magazine, which aims to help CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and other C-level executives get smarter about how they earn, save and spend their money, she also sits on the Board of Directors of the Global Business Policy Institute. She can be reached on email alexandra-dimitropoulou@ceoworld.biz. You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.