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Reasons to Attend Graduate School

Choosing to attend graduate school, either to obtain a Master's Degree or a Doctoral Degree, is a serious commitment of time and, in some cases, money. Deciding whether to attend graduate school may depend on many factors for you, and considering carefully your reasons for going back to school should be a high priority to make sure that the realities of graduate school meet with your expectations. Let's take a look at some of the most compelling reasons for attending graduate school.


Pros of Attending Graduate School

Career Advancement
If you are employed in a field that requires a graduate degree for advancement in your career (such as law, business, research, medicine, or academia, among others) then attending graduate school will likely be a necessity.

Higher Earnings Potential
In many fields, those with a graduate degree earn more than their counterparts who have only a Bachelor's Degree. This is not always the case, however, as in some careers those with higher level degrees find it more difficult to find jobs when the economy is performing poorly. Be sure to take a close look at how those with higher degrees fare in the fields you are interested in to be sure that obtaining a graduate degree will indeed lead to a more lucrative position.

Teaching Assistantships
Depending on the graduate school you attend and your field of study, you may qualify for free tuition and possibly a stipend toward your living expenses if you agree to work as a teaching assistant (TA) or a research assistant for a tenured professor.


Access to Facilities and Research Tools
If you are interested in (or already working in) a field that requires access to specific types of facilities, equipment, tools, and other resources, then attending graduate school is a great way to gain access to these in order to advance your research and work.


Industry Recognition
If you are employed in a field that recognizes higher degrees through potential for awards, publication in industry journals, and participation in national and international symposia, then attending graduate school can put you on the path to better recognition in your field.


Career Change
If you feel your chosen career is out of pace with your current interests and leanings, attending graduate school can put you on a path toward a new career that can invigorate your drive and ambition.


Have you made the decision to attend graduate school? What were your reasons for making the decision to go? Share your insights in a comment below to continue the conversation.

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