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Decide if Grad School Is Right For You

Assess pros & cons of more education

Deciding if now is the right time to get a Master's or PhD can be a big decision. A good place to start is by listing out your top reasons for wanting to continue your education. For example, many students pursue grad degrees for career growth potential or to make themselves more competitive for research and teaching opportunities. Others are seeking higher earnings. We recommend using the 5 Whys to explore your deeper motivations and goals.


A common mistake is to go to grad school as a fallback if you don't have a job. It's critical to understand the financial investment, including opportunity costs such as income you could have earned over that period. We suggest that students explore jobs and grad programs in parallel, comparing costs and benefits to come to the best decision based on their situation.


One of the best strategies is to talk to others who have made this decision themselves. Professors, industry professionals, and recent grads all have different insights to offer if you take the time to ask. For example, we've heard many CS professionals recommend getting a grad degree immediately after undergrad.


Grad school can be a wonderful experience and accelerator for your career, but take time evaluating your options so you have confidence you've made the best decision for your situation.