As soon as students complete their undergraduate degree, you are left with a vital question ‘What to do next?’ It is your choice whether to continue your studies and get a master’s or get some real world experience. Even if you select further education, another set of questions appear before you. Whether your reason is to learn more, to add a credential to your resume or to change your career, you need to think all of it through before considering a Master’s Degree. You need to be completely sure before pursuing master’s degree as you will be investing a lot of your time and energy in it. Here are a few factors that need to be looked over before you do take up your degree:
What Interests You?
This might look like a very ordinary question but it is a very complicated one to answer. As undergraduates, you took different courses to figure out what it was that you were actually interested. In master’s degree courses, you need to be completely sure and have no doubts whatsoever about what you want to do. Master’s degrees are extremely particular in their choice of topic and have to be linked to your field of study. This is one of the reasons why they are so intensive.
Real World Experience
There will be a lot of students who already have years of experience in the field that you will be just stepping in. You can learn a lot from textbooks and classroom discussions but experience in the real world will help you figure out what you like and what you don’t. It will give you valuable practical skill in your field and you will learn a lot about yourself. Experience is often a better teacher than textbooks; you will bring so much more to the graduate program. For example, some experience as a business intern can make a world of difference when you are opting for a Master’s in Business Administration degree.
The Funding Question
Everyone has asked or answered this question one time or the other. Sometimes you have no choice but to go further in debt if you want to pursue higher education. You can make it easier on you by applying for jobs as a research assistant, a tutor or a faculty assistant. Stipend, a couple of hours pay, etc. whatever it is, it will help you towards your funding, if that is a major concern. If not, you can always use it for your living expenses. Have a look at our free Paying for College guide.
Full time or Part time Education?
Both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Full time education allows you to finish your education quickly and it makes it easier to maintain stronger networks. Part timers usually have to deal with the stress of education and job demands. On the other hand, having a source of income might lessen the pressure of funding. Make your choice depending on what is important to you.
Are you Happy to be here?
Sometimes a master’s degree is just an excuse to get out of thinking about getting a job or because you are unsure of what you want to do. Remember, you will be investing a lot of your time and energy pursuing this degree. It makes no sense to take up a degree because you have no idea what you want out of life.
These are a few questions that you need to answer before applying for any master’s degree. Be extremely sure that this degree is what you want and this is when you want it. There’s no harm in taking a break from studies to gain experience through relevant jobs.
Stephanie Colaco is a freelance writer, editor and former HR professional. An Honors college graduate, she spends her free time helping students/professionals achieve their academic goals by publishing articles that answer their many questions on humanities courses and more. Connect with her on Google+.