GVSU Career Center
The Graduate School Decision
How is graduate school different from undergraduate education?
- Graduate school focuses on a specific, concentrated area of study, where undergraduate studies introduced you to a wide range of subjects and skills
- Graduate programs are designed to develop working professionals
Most classes are held in the evening
Benefits of going to graduate school immediately following undergrad:
- You are still in “study mode.” You are able to maintain the academic motivation and energy necessary to perform at the graduate level.
- Some fields require an advanced degree in order to immediately prosper and advance in your chosen career.
Many students have fewer personal commitments, such as families of their own or mortgages, and therefore have an easier time relocating.
Benefits of postponing graduate school following undergrad:
- Some graduate programs require that students have prior work experience in their field before they can be admitted.
- Working for a couple of years after receiving your bachelor’s degree can help you to confirm your career goals and later choose a graduate program that is the best fit.
- Having prior professional work experience before returning to graduate school can enhance your learning in the classroom.
Graduate school is a major expense. Some employers offer tuition assistance or reimbursement to their employees.
If you choose to take a year off, be intentional with your career planning.
What an advanced degree can offer you:
- An opportunity to develop your interests and skills into a full-time career
- Possible increases in earning power, the amount of responsibility you assume, and the freedom you have to make your own decisions
- Enhanced job satisfaction
- Flexibility to change careers
Page last modified October 22, 2013