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.
- Get an internship in a new location.
- Volunteer within your field.
Join AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps.
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 June 10, 2014