Why choose grad school?

How continued learning can help advance your career
Illustration of a mortarboard on a stack of books

Thinking about your next steps after you complete your undergraduate degree? Besides celebrating your hard work, you can get started in your career or enter a graduate or professional program for continued learning. Or, you could return to school after working for a few years and discovering what fields you’re interested in.

If you want to explore some of the possibilities for graduate education, be sure to check out the Grad School Fair

Need more convincing? Check out some of the perks of pursuing additional education: 

It could be the next step in your career

Graduate education or a professional designation might be a requirement, depending on your career choice. Fields like health care, accounting, law and teaching usually require additional education or certification before you can start working.

If you have some occupations in mind, research what education is necessary for entering that profession or advancing in it.

You can pursue your passions in-depth

You'll usually study a wide range of topics in an undergraduate degree, whereas graduate school allows you to study a topic or field with more focus. Is there a topic you want to know more about or a problem you're committed to solving? A graduate program can help you meet your goals by allowing you to perform research or work that aligns with your values and nurtures your interests. 

You can become a thought leader in your field

Undergraduate studies help you understand existing knowledge in your field, while graduate school allows you to expand on that knowledge. Depending on the type of program, you may be able to lead research in your area(s) of interest. You can even receive academic recognition and accreditation by publishing your research in a journal.

Increase your earning power and career prospects

While some careers require a professional designation or graduate education, obtaining that extra education can make you a more appealing candidate overall. In addition to gaining more flexibility in your current work, graduate studies can expand your network of contacts worldwide. Your instructors, research partners, classmates and peers can help you discover new career paths.

Advanced education can be a useful salary bargaining chip when negotiating a raise or promotion — in fact, the New York Times reported that on average, students who pursue graduate school degrees enjoy a 25% increase in earnings.