Should you go to grad school? The pros and cons you need to make your decision.

Going to graduate school is a decision most students don’t take lightly, and it’s not the right path for everyone. There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding to advance your education and help further your professional knowledge and development. 

While specialized advanced degrees, such as MBA’s, are highly sought after by larger companies, an advanced degree may not offer the payoff you were hoping for.

Pros of Attending Grad School

  • You may have the potential to earn more money when you acquire your graduate degree, especially if you have years of professional experience to complement it.
  • Increased knowledge of advanced competencies related to your profession — which can help you become a subject matter expert in your field.
  • Going to grad school may allow students to perform field research relevant to their area of study to help them prepare for advanced skills and knowledge in their careers.
  • It’s a great networking opportunity, especially if the other students in your cohort/program are full-time working professionals. A strong network may lead to great future opportunities as it can help you bypass many steps in recruiting processes if you have a professional referral.
  • If you are looking for a career change, this will help you build upon the skills, credentials, and connections to help you expedite that process.

Cons of Attending Grad School

  • Tuition costs for grad school are generally higher, and there are minimal financial aid resources for students to utilize.
  • If you cannot pay for it or find financial aid, it can lead to increased debt if you have to take on student loans to cover your tuition.
  • There is a time commitment that can lengthen your educational requirements from 1-7 years, which may delay your ability to begin your career if you are not currently working full time or pursuing a career change.
  • It may be difficult, and students often face challenges and stress while balancing their academic requirements and personal life.
  • Some individuals experience challenges in being over-qualified, and employers cannot afford them. There is no guarantee that you will get a better job or make more money upon graduation. On the contrary, some students who finish grad school for a career change are paid less than in their previous job because they have the credentials but not the experience needed to warrant a higher salary.

When it comes to grad school, you’ll likely want to invest time in researching the graduate school programs that you want to pursue to ensure it aligns with supporting your professional goals. Researching grad school costs may help you decide if you can afford it financially and personally.

Ultimately, going to grad school is a personal choice and you’ll want to make the decision that is best for you, regardless of what anyone around you is deciding to do.