Attending graduate school can be a big decision, especially for those who have been out of school in the workforce for a while or those who have been busy raising a family. In recent years, graduate schools have been discouraged by many for various reasons, albeit unfounded. We are here to help you distinguish fact from fiction. Here are five graduate school myths and the real facts.
College is Only for Young People
According to recent statistics U.S. News & World Report, the majority of the students in college are in their 30s. You’re never too old to get an education. In fact, many colleges prefer students who have both work and life experiences to bring to the classroom. Online, weekend and evening programs make it even easier to earn your graduate degree. Don’t for a moment believe that you are ever too old to pursue an advanced degree.
It’s Too Expensive
While college is expensive, there are many ways you can get help for graduate school.
• Employer-sponsored programs
• Financial aid
• Working at the school you attend
Employer sponsored programs in particular have risen in popularity over the last couple of decades. A great number of companies searching to elevate their collective set would rather pay a portion or even all of an employee’s graduate school expenses rather than hiring new employees, which can be quite costly. It bears mentioning that most companies mandate that the coursework correlates in some fashion to the employee’s job role.
The nice thing about scholarships, grants and financial aid is that, while college tuition has increased, the amounts you receive for college is also increasing. There is simply no reason you cannot secure some kind of financial assistance for graduate school.
You Must Go to a Top-Ranked School
What you get out of graduate school depends more on you and your dedication than on how the school is ranked. Sure, an MBA from Harvard or other Ivy League school may carry a certain amount of prestige, but it certainly isn’t the end all be all. The main reason why most students pursue a graduate school education is to advance their education and qualify them for the best career opportunities. The fact that you attended and completed a graduate program will matter more to your employer than where you attended.
Graduate Schools Require Quitting Your Job and Full-time Attendance
This might have been the case at one time, but is no longer the case since the inception of distance learning. Most career programs require some sort of practical experiences or internships. Since most of the practical experiences are completed at the baccalaureate levels, many graduate programs can be completed online. This is especially true with healthcare careers such as nursing or pharmacy programs. These programs allow you to continue working while earning your degree.
Undergraduate Grades Are Too Low
Colleges may look at what the students’ grades were, but they also look at many other things such as letters of recommendation, references, internships you’ve completed as well as work and life experiences. You can also say a lot in your college essay.
Hopefully, this article has dispelled any doubts or questions you may have had that were hindering your decision. Attending graduate school is advantageous on many levels. Certain fields require an advanced degree in order to legally practice. Additionally, a graduate degree can help you climb the corporate ladder and often increases your career options and opens up a number of doors. Finally those who attend graduate school often feel that an advanced degree satiates their intellectual curiosity and ignites their passion!
Karleia is a freelance blogger. For more information on pharmd online programs, visit the University of Florida.