Earning a bachelor’s degree is a major accomplishment. Completing that chapter is huge and should be celebrated, but it can also be daunting. Now that you have finished undergrad what’s next? What are you going to do with this next chapter? For some fields it is simple, go to grad school. Earning a master’s is required for licensure or certification in some professions. Additionally, it is the first step toward pursuing and doctoral degree. But what if your field doesn’t necessarily require you to earn an additional degree? How do you decide if grad school is for you?
To help understand why someone might choose to go back to school we spoke to Maureen Gibson, Assistant Director of Admissions. Maureen has been part of the Fontbonne community for 21 years. She works as the Assistant Director of Admissions and as an adjunct professor teaching various communications courses. As someone who has earned their master’s as well as coaches incoming students, Maureen truly sees a graduate program as an investment in your career. Check out some grad school benefits you might not have considered:
- Competitive Job Market- Possessing an advanced degree can aid in promotions or new skill development for your current role. It can also make you a more competitive applicant in today’s job market. Earning a graduate degree, graduate certificate, or taking specialized graduate courses set you apart from others. These credentials and courses highlight your specialized skills and strengths and make you a sought-after candidate in your field.
- Higher Salaries- Earning a graduate degree often translates to a higher salary range. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees with a master’s degree earned almost 18% more a week than their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees in 2021.
- Networking Opportunities- Going to grad school isn’t just about having a competitive edge in the job market, it is also about making connections. When engaging in a graduate program, students can expand their professional network. Connections with faculty members, department partners and student peers mean an expanded network of individuals who can help support your professional growth and development.
- Transition into a Different Field- A lot of professionals desire a career change but don’t know where to start. Going back to school can aid in that transition.
- Support from Your Employer- Many employers offer a variety of tuition assistance options. From discounts to full reimbursements, many employers are willing to invest in your education.
There are many reasons to consider going to graduate school. But recognizing the benefits is only the first step.
- What do you want? – When making this decision one should assess their personal career goals as well as the time they have to recommit to school.
- How do you start? – When considering a university, look at their admissions requirements. Understand what will be needed through that process or to get into your specific courses.
- Is this what you want to study? – Prospective grad students should also research the curriculum to ensure that this area of study is right for them.
- Ask for help.- Reach out to the admissions office, connect with faculty, and speak to your employer. Connect with the people around you who can answer these questions and help guide you in the best direction.
If you are interested in learning more about graduate opportunities at Fontbonne, contact our graduate admissions counselors!