People of all ages choose to return to grad school. Whether you’re a recent college graduate or a professional with three kids and a mortgage, enrolling in graduate school can reinforce and expand upon your educational base. Whether you’re pursuing education, business, law or almost any other profession, obtaining a graduate degree demonstrates your commitment to your industry, your education and, ultimately, yourself. Should you go to grad school? Consider these ways another degree could help you.
1. Enhancing Your Market Appeal
Especially with the ubiquitous nature of social media and the Internet, your “brand” being elevated with the addition of a graduate degree is a huge boon. Do the research to find the best program that aligns with and magnifies your personal brand in terms of complementing your professional goals. If you’re able to start there and see a graduate degree program through, you and your personal brand will undoubtedly benefit from the trove of new knowledge, skills, and experiences.
2. Climbing The Ladder
All things being equal, a graduate degree could tip the scale in your favor come promotion time. Due to a slowly recovering economy, middle management jobs, employer training and development programs have withered away, which makes it more difficult for workers to get promoted to the next level. A formal education in the form of a graduate degree could set you apart. Keep in mind, due diligence with your bosses or a trusted career mentor when choosing the graduate program and degree may help you get that promotion.
3. Improving Your Compensation
Studies have shown that people with a graduate degree earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Factoring in occupation, type of degree program and degree pursued, on average, workers with a master’s degree earn about 30 percent more than those with a bachelor’s. For folks in business considering a Master of Business Administration (MBA), salaries can jump 50 percent (or more) depending on the MBA, industry and prior work experience.
4. Making A Career Change
Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that you have dead-ended at your current job or company. The thrill is gone, but you’re not sure that moving within your company or even industry will be enough to reignite your joy for your current vocation. Professional or graduate degrees offer a chance to explore other venues while still investing in something that will have long-term financial and personal benefits. You’ll still need to obtain experience and networking contacts in your new field, but a graduate program should help you with both of these issues.
5. Achieving Your Best Self
This one is the most “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” driven, but it’s true, nonetheless. If your true motivation for obtaining a graduate degree is learning for the sake of learning (for the innate value and reward that you’ll derive from additional studies and degrees), then it makes sense to continue your educational journey. Education is a powerful and life-enhancing tool that expands your worldview and enriches your existence.
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