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Nov 29th 2017

How a Graduate Degree Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

A graduate degree is always useful, but it depends on the field of study. For instance, you aspire for a long, successful career in IT. A graduate degree may or may not help you get closer to that goal. It will be a waste of time to study English literature. Why not make a mini library (of your favorite authors and literary genres) your lifetime plan? On the other hand, a BA English graduate must not think twice of pursuing an MA English degree. An academic career is one of those (career) options if there's not much luck in authorship. If you have business sense, then you want an MBA (Business) degree in your portfolio.

Graduate studies can be seen as a bigger investment, which can put a strain on your professional life. There will be moments when your family must take a back seat. In this regard, admissions deans (or tutors) are looking for applicants who have passion in what they're doing AND what they're about to embark in the immediate future. There's no point in being insistent on a graduate degree if there's no urge at all. In other words, don't ever look at graduate studies as an option if you don't know what to do with your remaining free time.

The benefits might be a bit too many to recall long after your completion, but let's focus on the important ones.

What you can learn (and gain) from graduate studies

A huge network. This is the first, if not the only, reason for some college graduates (or young professionals) to pursue a graduate degree. There's nothing wrong with it, as their soon-to-be coursemates are promising figures in their respective fields, if not achievers at a very young age. There will be valuable lessons coming from them, which can help you make great strides in your career. There's also a possibility that you'll collaborate with one of them on research and many other things. Research paper experts are not the only people who can help you. Other benefits you can derive from graduate collaboration including job offer and career support. There's power in number, as a close-knit group can inspire each other to push further.

Self-discipline. You have first learned it during your undergraduate years, but what you have experienced might be nothing compared to what you would encounter in graduate school. Can you juggle work and studies? Are you able to keep a high level of satisfactory performance? Will you mind (and body) handle more stress? If the answer is yes, then there will be more challenges coming your way. You shouldn't groan about it, as it's a privilege to have this kind of experience. It will prepare you for more responsibilities, which doesn't mean that you're promoted to a higher position (in your company). But you'll get there.

A variety of skills. The graduate program teaches you a variety of skills on teamwork and leadership, both of which are highly valued in the corporate world. It's nothing like getting along a colleague that you didn't fancy at all. (This is a soft skill, which you can learn along the way.) Graduate school will give you sample cases, which are based on what actually happened in a certain company (or many firms) not long ago. There are also practical skills (e.g. finance), which a Business program can sell to would-be students. Nonetheless, bosses are looking at someone they can count on.

Holistic education. A Master of Business Administration (MBA) program can help you understand the core values of the market, as well as the written (and unwritten) laws governing most companies. You'll also be installed with values, which stem from a highly consolidated network. It should remind you of your undergraduate program, which is more informal in structure. It can be enjoyed, but it depends on the instructor. It doesn't mean that you won't encounter a similar thing in your graduate studies, but this is close to the real world. Any CEO doesn't want to work with someone who is not serious about career advancement, and this is what a graduate program is all about.

A career advantage (and more options). Those who want to be their own boss have strong beliefs on the wonders that a graduate degree can bring to their career. A higher salary is pretty obvious at this point, but there's something else. Graduate school is highly specialized in many ways, which should make you head and shoulders above your colleagues. This is the case in the MBA program, but you have to look ahead. Does your chosen field include graduate studies as an option? If not, then it will be fine. There's no need to show a long face, as many individuals have carved a name (and wealth) from their strong desire to succeed in their own terms.

Keep it real

You don't need a graduate degree to show it off, even if temptation is high after a promotion. You'll be expected to make a valuable contribution to your chosen field, if not the community. There's no written rule on it, but it's pretty obvious at the start of the term. Keep in mind that many graduates have gone through this path, having a more productive life in return.

Define your career goals, which even a high school student can do. A vision will help you set goals, and you need lots of faith and support to do it. If this program can be compared to a chemical reaction, then look at a graduate degree as a catalyst.

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