Is Graduate School Right for You?

Eller PDC Coach's Corner

By Matt Lehrer, Eller Career Coach

law school

Of the Eller graduating class of 2013, 16% said they were going to graduate school. The vast majority, close to 60%, to pursue a Masters in Accounting.  Law and Finance took very distant second and third places.

How do you know if graduate school is right for you? Here are some factors to consider.

Intellectual curiosity and professional advancement (and, perhaps, a lucrative career!) are good reasons to go to graduate school.  But doing so because you are not sure what else to do, or don’t feel ready to commit to a career, are not good reasons.

Career and Compensation
Graduates with a master’s degree in business often have a competitive advantage over their undergraduate degree peers.  Many employers prefer a master’s degree, and require one for career advancement.  Here are some median master’s degree salaries:  market research analyst ($60,600), human resources manager ($99,180) and Management Consultant ($78,160).  Contrast this to the median compensation for Eller’s (undergraduate) class of 2013:  $50,000.

Graduate school is very expensive:  as much as $40,000 per year (private).  Will you qualify for financial aid?

Before making your decision, please do your research!  It is helpful to talk with professors and graduate students – you might even “shadow” a first year graduate student for a “reality check.”

There are both pros and cons to going to graduate school.  Seek information from multiple sources, including the Career Counseling Center.  Most important – be honest with yourself, and trust your judgment.