Friday, December 7, 2012
Image via Flickr by Bill McChesney
Have you been dreaming of getting an advanced degree? Perhaps you feel that additional education will give you a leg up on your career. Well, it’s not that difficult, you just need to make that first step.
Many people today are expanding their job opportunities by earning a graduate degree. Some may just want to expand their horizons through education. However, many people may be a bit hesitant to begin what might seem to be a daunting journey.
Having an advanced degree such as a Masters, a PhD, or even a law degree, lends a certain positive aspect to your professional resume. It can create opportunities that may not present themselves with a bachelors degree.
Because these added credentials present more job opportunities, it is almost certain that a higher paycheck or salary will follow. Alternatively, the knowledge gained via an advanced degree may just offer a sense of satisfaction that you have achieved a lofty goal.
Let’s take a good look at why obtaining that degree is a positive step and why it’s probably not that difficult.
Define Your Goals
Determine what area of study you would like to engage in. Is it an extension of your undergraduate degree, or an entirely different field? Graduate degrees concentrate narrowly on single topics, so it’s important that you will enjoy your studies.
Choose a School
You will want to find a degree program at a school that will suit your needs. Obviously, you’ll want to choose a school that offers a degree program in the area in which you wish to study. Then, you’ll need to determine if that school’s program will fit your schedule and lifestyle. Some people obtaining advanced degrees work full-time, so flexibility is important. Many schools offer evening and online courses to suit these individuals.
The Application Process
The application process can be lengthy and can require quite a bit of time. Be prepared to gather transcripts and letters of recommendation. You may also need to take some sort of graduate level test such as the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) or the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). It is also a good idea to apply to several schools.
Get Ready to Study
Once you are accepted, make sure that you understand that this coursework will be at a higher level and much more intricate that your undergraduate studies. Make contact with your graduate advisor, as well as your professors so you are in complete understanding of the program’s expectations and requirements.
Finally, you will be expected to write a thesis or dissertation. This can be considered your final exam. This final paper will be lengthy and will incorporate most of the information covered in your coursework, so make sure you have a complete understanding of all your classes.
Graduating with an advanced degree can be rewarding, even with all the hard work, so take that first step and get started today.