Picking a Graduate Program

You’ve Completed Your Undergraduate Career – Now What?

If you’re like most college graduates, you’ll find a job and attempt to establish a career. This might make the best financial sense if you’re trying to get into a field that doesn’t require much specialization.

grad-program.jpgHowever, the job market is competitive and it can be difficult to stand out. Increasingly young professionals are looking towards graduate school as a means to differentiate themselves. Deciding to continue your education can be a tough decision to make because there can be several factors that may not have been in play when you first graduated.

Here are a Few Things You Should Consider Before You Make Your Decision:

    • Can you afford it?
      Considering your financial situation is an integral part of your decision. Do you have a car loan to pay for? Have you purchased a house? Will your program require quitting your job or reducing your hours? Understanding the financial implications of going back to school will help you forecast the long term benefits of attending graduate school.
    • What is the market like?
      It’s been said there’s more lawyers in school than are practicing in the United States. While it might not be true, it’s a good idea to consider what the job market is like for graduates with your particular focus. Will it give you the advantage you’re looking for? Talk with an advisor or faculty member of a program you’re interested in to get a better idea.
    • Where do you want to be?
      Are you happy living where you are? If so, consider applying to a school with regional recognition. You might have an easier time building connects through the program and the costs are likely less than a bigger school. However, the notoriety of a large school might aid the job hunt if you’re looking elsewhere post-graduation. A graduate program is a big decision. These are just some of the many factors you’ll need to consider when searching for the best fit for your ambitions.

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