Pursuing graduate school creates an extraordinary opportunity to expand your knowledge and experiences. There are many benefits to continuing your education, including career advancement, employment opportunities, networking, and personal accomplishment. In addition, your earning potential as a graduate-educated professional will likely be higher than that of someone whose education concluded with a bachelor’s degree. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, while a Class of 2019 graduate earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration was projected to earn a starting salary of $57,133, a graduate with an M.B.A. can expect to earn $84,580—a differential of nearly $27,500 per year. Over your career, this could equate to over $1,000,000 in increased earnings!
If you are interested in continuing your education at High Point University, we offer many graduate programs in fields including the health professions, business, communication, and education. Be sure to check out more information on our Graduate Admissions page.
Because graduate school entails a commitment of time, money, and effort, it is important that you weigh the decision carefully and clarify your professional goals and your preparation level. If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree, speaking with a career advisor, faculty members, pre-professional program advisors, and graduate program alumni can help with your decision.
You have the option of attending graduate school directly after graduation or after taking time off to achieve other goals. Many programs offer full-time, part-time, or distance options as well as financial assistance including fellowships, assistantships, and tuition waivers. It is important to research schools, programs, and financial aid opportunities.
Evaluating Graduate School
As you consider graduate school, ask yourself the following questions to ensure you have thought through your post-graduation plans:
- What are my short-term and long-term goals? Where does graduate study fit into these goals?
- What will this graduate degree do for me that my undergraduate degree will not?
- What are my interests, skills, and strengths? How can I prepare myself for the educational commitment?
- How will I pay for graduate school? What financial obligations do I have?
- Is this the right time to pursue graduate study or would another time be better?
- What is my reason for pursuing graduate study?
Faculty, alumni, and pre-professional program advisors are other people that can help you decide. You can ask them:
- What is your career background? Where did you obtain your degree(s)? Why did you choose that discipline and program?
- What was your experience like in graduate school?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of taking time off to work or travel before pursing an advanced degree? If I take time off, what experiences might I pursue to show my interest in the field?
- What career options are available after obtaining this degree?
- Who else should I contact for information or advice?
There are many resources to assist you in researching schools and graduate programs. The resources include program overviews and information about faculty, finances, and program rankings. In addition to the sites below, determine the professional organizations that are prevalent in your field to conduct further research.