Graduate School: How to Know if It’s Right for You

Many people choose to take on careers after their bachelor’s degree is completed, but some people still want to further their education. How do you know when the timing is right to go back to school? Here are a few helpful tips.

Are You in Good Shape Financially?

There’s no doubt about it: Higher education comes with a hefty price tag. While some certification programs don’t cost anywhere near as much as a graduate-level degree, the varying prices are still something to consider. Do you have money available, or would you need to take out loans? If you already have student loans, can you afford to increase them? Would you qualify for a loan without a co-signer? These are all critical questions to ask, as they could determine whether you can return to school at this time.

Does Your Work Offer Reimbursement Programs?

Every organization is different, but if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement program, you should know what it entails. Compare what your organization provides to what you feel you can afford. Again, the financial implications are important to consider, so don’t take this aspect of your decision lightly.

What Is the Career Impact?

So we know the cost of the program, but what is the benefit? Is this a personal goal? Is there an immediate benefit in terms of your role in an organization? Will an advanced degree increase your salary? Find out what going back to school can do for you and determine if the benefits outweigh the cost.

Do You Feel Strongly About This Goal?

Returning to school is admirable, but it’s not an easy process. It’s time-consuming and can be all the more challenging if you plan to continue working while also attending classes. While this is all doable, just make sure it’s something you really want.

Is There a Program That Works for You?

You should make sure there is a program that works for what you need. Is there a program with set courses at night or that you can complete online? The flexibility of the program will help ensure you can make the timing work for you.

Ignore the “Right Timing”

While some times may be better than others, the idea that there will be the perfect time to return to school just isn’t realistic.

Going back to school is a big decision. So keep these tips in mind as you contemplate your options and make sure you’re absolutely ready.

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