Students approaching graduation, whether they’re graduating with their bachelor’s degree or their associate’s, might be wondering what to do after the ceremony ends and the caps and gowns come off. 

UVU offers many graduate programs for those looking to receive a higher education, including degree programs in a master of accountancy, business administration, computer science, cyber security, education, nursing, public service and social work.

If the career path you want to pursue isn’t being offered at UVU, you may be wondering what your next step should be. Everyone must eventually walk off campus to continue in their careers or education after graduation, so you will need to decide which direction is right for you.

Choosing and applying for a graduate program might seem like tedious work, but depending on your situation, the experience may be well worth your effort and time.

These pros of entering a graduate program can potentially aid you in the process of deciding whether pursuing a higher degree degree may be right for you.

Financial Stability

The Wall Street Journal conducted research to analyze if those who receive their graduate degree make more money in their field than those who received their undergraduate. Access Masters Tour, an online magazine that specializes in posting articles regarding higher education, quoted the Wall Street Journal’s research, saying, “people aged 25 to 64 who have master’s degrees tend to earn 93% more than high-school grads over a 40-year career, and 20% more than Bachelor’s degree holders.”

Whether or not you will earn more annually if you have your master’s over your bachelor’s is dependent on your field. Conduct research into the average salary those in your career field make to determine whether or not pursuing a master’s is right for you in the long run.

Gaining More Experience

Along with a potential for greater financial stability, choosing the right graduate program might also offer you greater opportunities to work alongside professionals who have extensive experience in your field. The ability to network with these individuals can help you obtain the job of your dreams later down the line.

Dr. Eric Rasmussen, the director of graduate studies at Texas Tech University, spoke on campus Sept. 13 in the Clarke Building about graduate program opportunities for UVU students.

When asked about the benefits of receiving his master’s degree, Rasmussen said, “the more education you have, the more opportunities you’ll have… If you don’t go on to get your PhD, at least go on to get your master’s.”

“Having a master’s puts you in a better position, especially if you move up,” said communication professor and department chair, David Morin. “If there’s a choice between someone who may not have their degree with the same experience as someone who does have it, they’ll most likely choose the master’s.”

Exploring Other Options

Many people regard the first two years of college as the time to take general classes in various subjects to decide what you want to study for the rest of your life. This is an intense decision to make. You might believe you have to have your occupation decided by the time you go on to achieve your master’s, however, Rasmussen would disagree with this statement.

Rasmussen spoke about entering a graduate program with the mindset to explore other options and still understanding there’s time to figure out which program is right for you.

Although the purpose of achieving your master’s degree is to continue your education in the specialized career of your choosing, there is still time to change your mind and pursue other fields of interest.

Going to graduate school offers you the option to receive an education in a subject that could be different than your undergraduate major but is still something you always considered studying.

The Huffington Post wrote, “For the person who are dissatisfied with their career choice, a master’s degree is a great opportunity to earn a relatively expedited education in a field that may only recently have piqued that person’s interest. Consider the engineer who realizes he really wants to be a lawyer. He can spend three years in grad school and begin a new career.”

Although going on to receive a higher education may seem costly and time consuming, the benefits may outweigh the cons. Examine all of your options so you are aware what degree will be the most rewarding for you in the future.