Somehow it happened. Graduate school has entered your mind. This could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to transition to a new career. Or maybe you are looking to advance further in your current one. Whatever the case may be, the decision to go to grad school can be a difficult one with many factors to consider. But is grad school the right choice right now? Don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you decide.
Is Grad School a Good Choice for You?
Do You Really Need It?
Graduate school can look incredibly impressive, but it can also be unnecessary depending on your career goals. First things first, review your reasons for making this journey and ensure it is right for you. If you are aiming for grad school because of specific career goal, such as teaching in college, then go for it. If you’re certain it will give you an edge in the employment market, do it. If, on the other hand, you are thinking about it because you don’t know where to go, take a moment and find a better reason. The expense and time can be significant.
How Much Will It Cost?
Review the options for grad school programs you wish to attend. This will give you an idea of how much your desired programs will cost. Next, take a moment and ask yourself how you will pay for it. Maybe your employer will pay for it or offer reimbursement. Or you might have to find a way to finance it yourself. In that case, a quick review of your financial picture will help you decide.
How Much Time Will It Take?
Much like the question about financial cost, there will be a time commitment as well. Considering whether or not you have the time to commit to a program is vital to your success. Remember, there are 24 hours in any day, but you need those for all of the things you want to accomplish.
So, is grad school the right choice right now? If so, what’s next?
When Should You Begin?
Deciding when to begin a graduate program can be tricky. If you’ve found that you have the time to attend one, then timing shouldn’t be too difficult. Consider major events already on your calendar, but also think about why you are going. If you have a career transition in mind, then time your program start so that the completion will line up with your overall goals.
Take a moment and make sure to add the time you will need to your daily schedule as a trial run. Just to make sure you do have the time.
What Should You Do to Prepare?
Now that you’ve decided you’re ready for grad school, take a moment and review the requirement for your program. Schedule any exams and get the prep materials you need. Verify your payment option, whether financing or through your employer, and make certain all of the required documents are available and ready. A little preparation will make sure your return to school is smooth and efficient.
Career transitions, and all of the varied decisions that come with them, can be overwhelming. Contact us, we’re here to help. Our highly skilled team has helped thousands of people over 50 years transition to careers of fulfillment. Charles Foster is here to help you.