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Thinking About Going Back to School to Earn Your Master's Degree? Ask These Questions

A woman on a laptop representing master's degree programs at Tulane School of Professional Advancement in New Orleans, LA

Going back to graduate school marks the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of many adults. Some benefits include professional development, increased financial earnings, and more career options. Here are questions to ask while deciding whether returning to graduate school is the right choice for you.

How Can Graduate School Improve My Current Job Situation?

Whether you are looking to advance in your current role or change your career path completely, obtaining a master's degree can aid in improving your current job situation. Going back to graduate school can also help you qualify for a promotion or move into management positions at a current job. Graduate degrees provide an in-depth exploration of a chosen course of study, often offering management approaches to solving problems and upper-level skills that can prepare students for that promotion they've been seeking. Overall, an advanced degree can open the door to further your employment opportunities.

Can a Master's Degree Improve My Pay?

Investing in your future by earning a master's degree often comes with a great reward. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for full-time workers ages 25 and over whose highest level of education was a master's degree was $68,000, compared to $56,000 for those whose highest level was a bachelor's degree—a $12,000 wage premium. It's also important to consider the cost of higher education before entering into a program. Researching scholarships, financial assistance, and grants may assist in alleviating educational costs.

Is This the Right Long-Term Career Path for Me?

It goes without saying that graduate school takes commitment and passion. When adults are passionate about their field of study, going back to school is a natural choice. Considering your options before entering a graduate program is vital, and to make full use of a graduate degree, it also means staying in that specific field long-term. If someone is still unsure about their desired studies and possible career options, then it may be more beneficial to take more time considering every option available before choosing to apply.

Can My Lifestyle Accommodate Graduate School?

Going back to graduate school can be exciting, and it may entail a large number of life changes. In addition to spending a great deal of time studying and developing projects, students may choose to relocate to attend their desired program. Many schools offer online learning opportunities to help adults learners who are not able to relocate. Some students continuing working full-time while attending school. Balancing work and school requires commitment and great time management skills. Many employers will work with employees who show a dedication to extending their learning. Speak with upper management to develop a flexible schedule.

Attending graduate school to earn your master's degree can be fulfilling and lucrative—but it's important to ensure that the timing is right. At Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we believe you shouldn't have to put your life on hold to pursue your career. That's why we offer flexible graduate programs for working adults. Students may choose to combine both online and on-campus learning, or complete one of our master's degree programs available entirely online. Learn more about the admissions process today.

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