The decision to go to graduate school is a big one. It’s a commitment of time, energy, resources, and finances.
Below are questions to ponder before moving forward to acquiring a Doctorate degree.
Why do you want to acquire a doctorate degree?
You need to have an honest conversation with yourself. If there’s something you want to explore more or a certain kind of job you want that requires an advanced degree, then you should pursue that thinking by looking at graduate school options. If your desired career requires an advanced degree like a master’s or Ph.D., graduate school is a good direction.
What type of program do I want to study?
Once you commit yourself to going, figure out the initial graduate degree you want to pursue, and get researching. There are thousands of graduate programs throughout the world—focus your search for a program on your desired subject, size of the program, and opportunities to earn specialized degrees, if that’s something you want to pursue.
You should also research a program’s requirements. Figure out the type of program you want. Then do the research.
When should I apply?
Take your time and apply to the right program, give yourself some time maybe a year between your undergraduate and NYSC service year. Don’t feel pressure to apply as an undergraduate if you’re not ready to make that commitment. Apply for a Master degree program when it feels right for you, and for the right reasons. Keep in mind that most programs have hard start dates and deadlines. Once you decide to apply, get your materials together and go for it.
How will the degree improve my career?
If you’ve already spent some time in the job market and you’re getting the advanced degree to improve your prospects, then you’re probably in the right place. Make sure that the advanced degree will get you where you want to be by talking with your current employer and even your undergraduate career office. Most have alumni services for career counseling and have people who are happy to help you sort through the career benefits of a graduate degree.
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