Moving On Up: The Importance of Graduate School

By Abbey Neely, Senior Public Relations Major, Austin Peay State University

After almost 16 years in institutionalized education, I am about ready to give up. I feel like my whole life has consisted of nothing but going to school and I really just want to get into my career. However, I have realized in the last year or so how important graduate school is to me as a Communication professional, and I thought I should it share it with you in the hope that maybe I will convince some of you who have questioned pursuing more education before it’s too late.

1.) “Will I even get paid more with a Master’s degree?”

Studies have shown that professionals that get their graduate degrees make thousands more a year than those who only have their bachelor’s degrees. In fact, more and more companies every year are only hiring graduates that have their master’s degrees, so if money is what you’re after, those two extra years of schooling are definitely worth your time and investment

2.) “Isn’t graduate school super expensive?”

Like most higher institution education, tuition rates are never cheap. However, most school provides scholarship and grants to graduate students, and some even have Graduate Assistant (GA) positions where they will pay for your schooling in exchange for working some job pertaining to your degree path.

3.) “Won’t it take up my entire day?”

Most graduate studies classes are only one or two days a week for a couple of hours, and the majority of some graduate work is online, as faculty and staff in graduate studies understand that most people pursuing graduate degrees have other jobs, families, etc.

4.) “Can I do it online?”

Absolutely? There are dozens of schools that have online graduate degree programs. APSU even has an online master’s program in Corporate Communication and other fields. Keep in mind, similar to classes in your bachelor’s program, online courses take a lot more discipline and focus, to make sure that you get your assignments done, but it sometimes works better for people’s hectic schedules.

So you see, graduate school is more important than you’d think. While it is another two years of schooling, it makes the biggest difference in the rest of your career. So grab your backpack, boot up your laptop, and get ready to head back to school.

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