Is this the right time for graduate school? What do you want to study? Where would you like to go? And what else should you think about when taking this next step on your career path?

If you’re finishing your undergraduate degree or wrapping up your first few years in the classroom, you may be starting to think about what’s next in your professional life. Should you go to graduate school? Many states now mandate either the completion of a master’s degree in education or additional training for teacher licensure in addition to the undergraduate content-based major such as English, history, or mathematics. Whether the decision to go to graduate school is made for you by your state or whether you have decided on your own to pursue a graduate degree, you have many decisions to make. While this article focuses primarily upon obtaining a master’s degree, one of the many factors to consider is whether you think you might want to go beyond a master’s degree and earn a professional degree such as a law degree or obtain a terminal degree such as an Ed.D. or Ph.D. The decision you make now may either assist or hinder your further study later on. Ask yourself these questions to see if a graduate degree is the next step for you.

Things to Consider

Is now the right time to go to graduate school? Do you need to complete a graduate degree to meet the minimum qualifications for your career, or should you start your career now and consider graduate school later? Factors playing into this decision include your family, the expense of the degree, your age, the time it took to complete your undergraduate degree, and state licensure requirements. Many institutions have innovative programs for military veterans who are leaving the service and wish to begin a career in teaching.

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