Should you work towards a Master’s or Doctoral degree? Which is right for you?

Should you work towards a Master’s or Doctoral degree? Which is right for you?

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 surprised to find that graduate school requires a much larger commitment. Students who are taking a full course load as well as teaching or working other jobs often find themselves overwhelmed. The difference between college and graduate school lies in the ability of the student to focus on their field and areas of most interest.

When considering the advantages of each, remember that both will give you in-depth training in a specialized field and the usefulness of each degree depends on your academic and career interests/goals. However, the higher the degree, the longer it takes to earn and the more specialized the focus becomes. For that reason, here are some things to consider.

What is a Doctoral Degree?

The most common doctorate, and main focus of this post, is the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Obtaining a Ph.D. degree means you have exclusive specialty in your field of choice. Bear in mind that one of the very important aspects of getting a Ph.D. consists in the ideal of creating knowledge. Ph.D. work requires original research that contributes new information. In order to earn your Ph.D., you will be required to pass comprehensive exams and a dissertation. What many students don’t know is that they can apply for a Ph.D. program directly after completing a bachelor’s degree, although some schools do require a master’s degree before entering a Ph.D. program.

Purpose and Uses of a Doctorate

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How to Find Free Money for Graduate School: Part 4

How to Find Free Money for Graduate School: Part 4

The best kind of financial aid is money you don't have to pay back, such as scholarships, fellowships, and grants. Grants for graduate students can be the difference between earning an advanced degree and ending at the bachelor’s level. But while scholarships are often merit-based, grants are more likely to be need-based. There are many grants available if you know where to look. The following includes a basic overview of the types of grants available.

Career Specific

There has been an increase in career-specific grants, funding given to students focusing on a specific career goal. If you are undecided, or open to any major, consider pursuing a profession in high-demand fields. These high-demand areas of study include foreign language, special education, math, and science. If your career objectives include a specialized role, or advanced position, you might find grant funding that specifically supports your goals.

       For example, the TEACH Grant is a non-need based grant awarded to students completing a master’s degree in specific education disciplines.

College-Based

Another good source for funding is college-specific grants. Your search for funding should include schools that specialize in the field you are interested in. Many colleges have grant funds set up by specific departments or by the alumni, which can be used towards opportunities that will give you valuable experience and enhance your professional credentials—such as internships, academic research, and other career advancement activities.

Opportunities are widespread and highly individualized by the universities that offer them, so it is up to you to uncover what opportunities your school gives graduate students. Financial aid professionals and program administrators can also provide valuable insight into available aid. Here are a few examples from well-known colleges:

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3 Things You Can Do to Boost Your Academic Performance

3 Things You Can Do to Boost Your Academic Performance

Grad students are plagued by self-doubt and wonder if they’ll make it through the week—let alone the semester. When everyone else seems to be doing well, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one struggling. In reality, these feelings get to everyone whether they’ll admit it or not. Research shows us, however, that there are simple things that you can do to improve study habits, grades, and even motivation for learning.

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statswork
motivational ,thanks for sharing your words.
Tuesday, 22 September 2015 03:12
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Time Management: How Your Scheduling Style Affects Well-Being

Time Management: How Your Scheduling Style Affects Well-Being

Grad school will test your time management skills. You won’t be able to graduate without successfully scheduling and completing events. But did you know that your preference for planning your day can have long-lasting implications on your psychological well-being?

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8 Dos and Don’ts About Note-Taking in Grad School

8 Dos and Don’ts About Note-Taking in Grad School

In a previous post, I wrote about a few general strategies to use while taking notes in graduate school.  Those methods included digitally and manually taking notes and the pros and cons of each.  With this second post, I wanted to provide a short list of tips for taking notes while in grad school.  These will help you hone your note-taking skills and become more organized with your school work.

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Best Grad Apps to Get Organized

Best Grad Apps to Get Organized

Grad students have so many things going on at the same time: school, work, family, and friends.  I definitely remember those times of feeling like I would never be able to catch up and get organized, so I wanted to see how some apps might help alleviate some procrastination and disorganization.  With all these handy mobile apps and tools right at our disposal, we have plenty of ways to organize our lives, manage our time.

1Password

If you’ve ever forgotten a password that you made for a website or profile online, this app may be perfect for you.  I personally downloaded it when I needed to keep better track of my usernames and passwords, and it’s one of my favorite apps.  It keeps me organized so I have one less thing to worry about.

Dropbox

Another one of my favorite apps is Dropbox.  It’s free to install and keeps me well organized.  I’d suggest installing it on your computer first so you can feel it out and get used to the organization and its many uses.  I suggest this app for grad students because it keeps great track of all your important documents for studying and writing papers.

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Things I’m Glad I Did in Grad School

Things I’m Glad I Did in Grad School

We’ve all had our successes and failures in life, and grad school is no exception. Here are some of the successes I had in grad school. In my last post, I shared with you some regrets I had, but here I’ll share with you my high notes in grad school. If you do some of these things, maybe you can have an easier time in grad school, too.

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10 Questions to Ask Yourself before Deciding to Get a PhD

10 Questions to Ask Yourself before Deciding to Get a PhD

Before deciding to embark on another 5-10 years of education, know the facts about getting a PhD (see my previous blog on myths of getting a PhD). If you’re still confident a PhD is the right path for you, ask yourself the following:

1. Can I afford it?
If you are considering student loans, mean graduate debt was $14,479 according to the Survey of Earned Doctorates (NSF, 2012). Also take into account the cost it takes to apply to multiple PhD programs. Can you afford moving to another region of the country? All these things add up before the first day of classes.

2. How much money could I be making during the time it takes to get a PhD?
In addition to thinking about out-of-pocket expenses, consider the opportunity cost of getting a PhD. Think of both time and money. Figuring your opportunity cost will help answer the question, “Is it worth it?” To know how much money you will make after graduation, you will need to ask yourself the next question below.

3. To what industry do I want to enter as a career?
This question will better target what kind of salary you are likely to make in the future. There are plenty of people with master’s degrees who rake in $90k+ a year. How did they do it? They went into industries that pay well. The degree you hold is not the only factor in how much money you will make.

4. Is it impossible to get my dream job without a PhD?
If the answer is yes, then you need to get a PhD. Be realistic about the type of job that you are likely to get upon graduation, as well. When choosing programs, ask what type of jobs people get when they graduate.

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7 Myths About Getting a PhD

7 Myths About Getting a PhD

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.

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How Your Schedule Changes In Grad School

How Your Schedule Changes In Grad School

I hope you’ve all been enjoying this blog series about adjusting to graduate school. Today’s post is about scheduling changes: what you should expect in grad school and how you can transition well. When you become a grad student, you might feel that you’re not able to fit everything you need to do within your week, but here are a few ways that you can alleviate this feeling.

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