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  • When to Get a Graduate Level Degree?

    Have you ever thought about going back to school for a graduate level degree? If so, do you know when the best time is for starting a graduate school? Do you have a clear understanding of how this graduate degree can help you with your career goals? If you are not sure about the answers of these questions, read the rest of the article to find out how a graduate degree can help you.

    Getting a graduate degree will cost you time and money so you should be careful about this decision and find the right timing for you. Before deciding on a graduate level program, you should know your career goals. Are you getting this degree because you want more compensation or perhaps a promotion? While studies show that employees with Master’s degrees earn 10-20% more compared to employees with Bachelor’s degrees, you may also get that salary hike within a year or two if you stay in your current position and stand out among your coworkers. Therefore, you should weigh this decision with awareness. However, if you think you will stand out among your coworkers and be up for a managerial level promotion with a Master’s degree, then you should go ahead and do it. Also, if you are planning to change your career completely, a graduate degree can be helpful for you. Maybe you were a business major in college but you figured out that you are more passionate about information systems/technologies. In this case, a Master’s in IT will definitely help you reach your career goal as an IT professional.

    Another aspect which you need to consider when getting a graduate degree is timing. Some jobs require graduate degrees such as a lawyer, a doctor or a college professor. If you are considering having a career in one of these professions, you should start your graduate degree right after you graduate from your Bachelor’s degree. However, if you are an engineer or a business professional, then you are better off waiting a few years and having some work experience first. Also, you can get into a better graduate school if you have a few years of work experience and maybe even get a scholarship. I had a scholarship when I was studying my MBA and in exchange for this scholarship; I worked as a research assistant at school. Moreover, if you work for a few years, you can know your career goals better as well as be financially stronger.

    Finally, if you are in a profession which needs creativity such as a designer, a graduate degree may not be very helpful for you unless you want to become a college professor. The reason is that many people hire designers based on recommendation and their portfolio. Therefore, creative professionals are better off finding more clients and gaining more experience.

    Ceren Cubukcu is a top 5 bestselling author of Make Your American Dream A Reality: How to Find a Job as an International Student in the United States. She recently founded her consulting business to help more international students find jobs in the US in addition to her self-service digital event ticketing platform, Etkinlik Fabrikam (My Event Factory), to offer her webinars. 

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