For most students, pursuing their bachelor’s degree is the last taste of school they will ever get. When they graduate with their degree they will move into their jobs and leave college behind, but it is becoming more common for many students to pursue a master’s degree.
Whether you are coming back to school after working and advancing in your career, or going straight from undergrad to graduate school, you are never too old, or too young, to advance your education.
Depending on the reason you are contemplating graduate school, there are many things to consider like time, money and your future goals. For some careers you need a graduate degree to be eligible for promotions or to have the job position in the first place.
Another aspect of considering graduate school is the time commitment. Not only will you likely have to juggle classes on top of a full time job, but graduate classes are typically more difficult than undergraduate classes. Sectioning out your semesters to juggle both a job, going to school and even working around your family can mean it may take awhile for you to graduate with your master’s degree.
The last consideration is money. For many students, graduating with debt can be debilitating, and the idea of taking on more is not even an option. Luckily, if you really want to go to grad school and avoid debt, there are scholarships and loans available specifically for those who are pursuing a master’s degree, especially if you have work experience under your belt.
For those who have been working within their job field for years, you also may have enough money in the bank to not have to worry about tuition costs. On average, master’s degrees cost around $66,000, while doctoral degrees are over $100,000 and can take up to a decade to obtain.
By simply doing a Google search for “master’s degree scholarships” you can find hundreds of different scholarships granted by competitions, awards or simply excelling in a field you are already working in. Some jobs also have programs where they will pay for you to get a master’s degree simply because it means you will improve at your job.
Each person is different, and that means whether they decide to pursue a graduate degree, and when, depends on their life circumstances. Going to graduate school, you can expect to see people from all walks of life, from fresh faced college graduates, to parents and grandparents who simply want to learn more.
There are advantages and disadvantages of going to grad school at any age, but the most important thing to think about is whether or not it is worth it for you in the long run, not whether you are too old or too young to go back to college.