Exploring

Is Graduate School Right for You?

The decision to attend graduate school is not one to be taken lightly. It is a huge time and financial commitment, so ask yourself what your motivations are for attending graduate school. Being honest with yourself is the best way to establish if grad school IS right for you.

The RIGHT Reasons to Attend Graduate School

You have a clear sense of the career you want to pursue and an advanced degree is the ticket to entry into that field.

You have a love for scholarly pursuit. Keep in mind that you will be immersed for several years studying and doing research in a particular academic discipline.

You are a career changer whose new interests have little connection to your undergraduate major. A graduate degree could add to your marketability in the job market.

Attend grad school if you are working toward a goal, NOT postponing making a career decision or to avoid looking for a job.

The WRONG Reasons to Attend Graduate School

You haven’t decided what kind of career you want to pursue and would rather go back to school to “find yourself” or to postpone the “real world”.

You’re getting pressure from your parents, friends, or professors. Your interests and motivation is what is important.

You think grad school is a last resort because you won’t be able to get a job. Don’t buy into this myth! There is always something that can be done with ANY major.

UCLA has equipped you with many skills that employers seek when hiring entry level job candidates. You will discover that your problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork and communications skills are highly valuable in the job market.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What do I want to accomplish in my lifetime?
  • What are my long-term and short-term professional goals?
  • Is graduate school necessary for me to achieve these goals?
  • Am I simply postponing my career planning and decision making?
  • Will the amount of time and money spent on a program ultimately translate into greater career mobility and financial possibilities?
  • Am I willing to meet the extensive research, course work and major paper demands of another academic program?
  • Would continuing education alternatives, such as University Extension, vocational school, community college, or professional seminars and workshops assist in achieving my goals?