A graduate degree is what those with bachelor’s degrees pursue when they want to specialize in a particular field. There are two types of graduate degrees – master’s and doctorate. The general difference is that a master’s program emphasizes the study of current knowledge while a doctorate creates new knowledge within the field of study via research. The current economic times are also a good reason to go back to school to pursue a new career field. “In these unprecedented times, students seeking graduate, business, law, medicine, and other post-grad degrees are understandably concerned with their future,” said Ken Ruggiero, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ascent Funding in a recent announcement about its new graduate student loan offering.
The following are five great reasons to pursue your graduate degree.
A graduate degree program should teach you advanced systems of critical thinking. That includes conducting research and applying statistics and probabilities which, when truly mastered, greatly improve your ability to analyze the world around you and see things in a truly new and unique light. A graduate degree makes you an expert in your chosen field and gives you a strong competitive edge when it comes to career advancement. You also interact with highly experienced and especially accomplished educators who can share their wealth of knowledge while also providing mentorship opportunities.
Greater employment opportunities
A graduate degree makes you a highly specialized talent with a particular set of skills that should prove much more marketable than those with bachelor’s degrees. Advanced education often leads to opportunities in the field that otherwise would not exist and enable you to advance well beyond more pedestrian pursuits. The more experience you gain as a specialist, the more likely you are to have truly enriching career prospects further down the road as well as upon completion of your advanced studies.
Great career advancement
Many executive-level positions require graduate degrees to qualify as well as a lot of experience in the field. Highly specialized fields, like medicine, require a graduate degree before you will be considered among potential candidates. Many specialized programs will give you plenty of on-the-job training before bestowing your graduate degree and allowing you to advance further in the field.
The financial benefits of a graduate degree are very substantial and add up to about $1 million in lifetime earnings than a bachelor’s, according to Georgetown University. That is about $17,000 more per year than someone in the same field with a bachelor’s degree. Although you may have taken graduate student loans to fund the additional training and education, the additional money earned over a lifetime can be significantly more when you enter into highly specialized fields with more demand for highly skilled experts.
Greater recognition and credibility within the field
A graduate degree from a tier one research university and a highly esteemed program can add a high degree of credibility to your claimed area of expertise. Performing well, earning academic honors, and gaining real-world experience all help to boost your profile and potential future success. Completing your graduate program with a high grade-point average and academic honors for projects completed during your studies demonstrate your advanced knowledge and expertise.
Graduate school can be very expensive and time-consuming, but many accredited online programs help to reduce costs and fit your busy schedule. You also can apply for graduate student loans and ease the financial burden while earning your master’s or doctorate degree.
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