Is the time and money of a master’s worth it? If you are considering going to graduate school, you are most likely pondering which degree to get. There are pros and cons to earning a master’s degree before pursuing a doctorate. Master’s degrees are more career-oriented and doctoral degrees focus more on research. If all you want is a raise, pursuing a doctorate is probably not the…

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Are you ready for graduate school? As a potential applicant to graduate school, you have quite a few decisions ahead of you. If you are considering a graduate degree, you might wonder what the differences are between the Master’s and Doctorate, or which one is right for you. When you enroll in a graduate degree program, be prepared for a different experience from undergrad. Eddie Machek describes the…

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If you are considering going to graduate school, you are probably wondering which degree to get. The choice should not be too difficult once you understand the differences among the two types: doctorate and masters. Graduate school is a lot of work and can be very competitive. Many students who floated through undergraduate work are…

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Looking back on my time in grad school is a bittersweet feeling. I had a lot of difficulties but I still treasure the hard work and tears (maybe that’s the cognitive dissonance speaking). I thought I’d share with you some wisdom from my time in grad school: the things I wish I would’ve known. If you understand and take seriously some of these things, then maybe you can avoid some…

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Should you get a master’s degree or should you go on to get your PhD? If you’re considering getting even more education, be aware of some of these misguided assumptions surrounding the elusive PhD. MYTH #1: Getting a PhD guarantees a job. It is true that people with doctorate degrees have lower unemployment rates on average compared to people with less education ( Bureau…

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I have gotten mixed feedback about whether I should go straight into grad school or work in the field for a few years before starting. When I think about my long term goals, I am more concerned about future employers and career opportunities, rather than the short term goals of having more money now. Do you think it would be best to push through and get my Master’s now, or would the experience in the field be helpful? –More School or Work Now? Dear More School or Work Now, This is a great question, and can often depend on the opportunities that are available to you after you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. If you have an opportunity to start your career when you complete your undergraduate degree, it can be hard to pass on that type of offer.

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I am in my third year of a five year PhD program, and the further I get into my field of study, the more I realize that this is not the field/career choice for me. I have invested so much time, money, and effort on this degree so far, but I really do not see myself being happy if this is what I do the rest of my life. I am seriously considering dropping out of the program, but I don’t want the whole experience to be a waste. What do I do? –Changing Fields Dear Changing Fields, This may be the most commonly asked question of all graduate students. In fact, I don’t know a single student who has survived graduate school without asking this of themselves.

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I have noticed that the relationship that I have with my professors seems somewhat more personal than teachers in high school, especially when working on research teams and other projects when we spend more time working collaboratively outside of the class room. Is it appropriate to add my professor to my FaceBook, etc? –Walking the Line Dear Walking the Line, This is a personal decision that will depend on multiple factors. First, are other students “friends” with this professor on Facebook? It is often wise to take a cue from senior students, as they may have specific insights into this quandary.

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I’m sitting at a crossroads with my dissertation right now. I’m struggling to decide whether or not the best possible decision for me is to try and quickly finish my dissertation project or to stay here a 5th year. If I stay for the 5th year, one of my colleagues will be on the job market before me and I worry that may ruin my chances for an academic position. What is the best option? –Early Bird Gets the Job? Dear Early Bird, Although it is true that the search for an academic position can be competitive, I do not believe it would be a problem to have two similar candidates in the job market around the same time.

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