Now that you’ve decided you want to attend grad school, you’re faced with a very important decision ─ what to study? While you may be tempted to just choose the area in which you earned your undergraduate degree, that isn’t always best option. Instead, look at the big picture of your career and make a decision based on what you hope to get out of your grad school experience.
Below are three common goals of graduate students. Understanding where you fit in can help you determine what program is the best choice for you!
Goal – Enhance your current career.
You’re already working in an area you enjoy, but want to gain the additional skills and knowledge needed to advance your career. Many high-level positions require a master’s degree to be considered for the job and, even if it’s not a necessity, having one can give you a competitive advantage. In this case, pursing a master’s degree in your current field may be your best option, as it will pick up precisely where your undergraduate studies left off. For example, if you’re currently employed in public service, obtaining a master’s degree in public administration is the perfect way to expand your current skillset.
Goal – Move to a related field, or work in a new way in the same field.
You want to earn a graduate degree because you strongly believe gaining knowledge in another field will complement the expertise you already have. Often times obtaining a graduate degree in an area that’s new to you is the best way to develop your skills. Combining knowledge from different programs allows you to broaden your perspective and become a more well-rounded professional. While this may be out of your comfort zone, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge yourself in new ways and emerge from the program as an extremely competitive candidate. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, earning an MBA could help you apply your knowledge of psychology to understanding how organizations and the individuals within them operate.
Goal – Enter a new career.
You want to make a change and you’re ready for an entirely different career path. Go for it! Pursuing a master’s degree can help you gain the necessary skills and experience to excel in a new field. Taking the initiative to head back to school for an advanced degree also shows employers that you’re dedicated to succeeding in your new endeavor. You’ll learn to blend the skills you’ve already acquired through years in the workforce with those necessary to start this exciting new chapter in your life. For example, if you’ve been working as a teacher, pursuing a master's degree in public health can allow you to put the skills you already have to work to bring positive changes to many people.
To learn about the graduate programs offered at South University, Online Programs, request information today!