Are You Looking to Continue Your Education?

Graduate school can be an excellent opportunity to move forward in your career or continue your professional development, and we are happy to help you through the process.

What to Consider

If you are unsure whether you want to pursue a graduate degree or what type of degree to get, here are some important things to consider.

Look into job positions you are interested in, checking the required education and skill sets listed on the job posting. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics is also a good resource. Some positions require an advanced degree, some encourage it, and some don't need it at all. If you are currently in a job, look at the avenues of career growth for you and what degrees those above you have.

Completing an undergraduate degree marks the beginning of a lifelong learning journey rather than the culmination of one's educational path. Regardless of your location or circumstances, the importance of ongoing learning and personal development cannot be overstated. Graduate school serves as a valuable avenue for further enhancing your skills and advancing within your chosen career field.

Where Should I Start?

If you are considering graduate school, the first thing you will want to do is discuss it with your academic advisor, and they can usually recommend schools to look into as well and let you know about any pre-qualifications you should be aware of, like required classes or tests. Interested students should start the process early and be organized with what is required for each school. Career Services can also assist with mock interviews and potential questions you might encounter.

What to Look at When Choosing a Graduate School

The following considerations can help you decide where to pursue your graduate degree.

Everyone goes to graduate school for different reasons. Some to become better in their fields. Others to move up the corporate ladder. These are important considerations when looking at graduate degrees and programs.

The number, quality, and expertise of the faculty. You will need the faculty's expertise to match the areas you want to grow in.

With the growth of online graduate programs, many more programs are open distance learning; however, some programs are required or better in person, so it is good to consider this. If you do want on-site classes, review the housing opportunities, student demographics, and community.

Additionally. attending school in the state where you intend to live long-term can be advantageous if you are considering professions like lawyers, counselors, and teachers that necessitate state licensure.

A graduate degree should be seen as an investment, but you don't want to put yourself in serious debt either. Review the total cost of the program as well as the financial assistance (fellowships, assistantships, grants) available.

Review the reputation of the school - ranking, successful alumni, and career opportunities. Also. reviewing a college program's retention rates is essential to ensure that students are persisting in their studies and completing their degrees, which can be a strong indicator of the program's overall effectiveness and student support.

As admission criteria can differ between schools and programs, it is essential to thoroughly examine these requirements to gain a clear understanding of what is necessary for eligibility. Reviewing in advance also provides an opportunity to address any inquiries or uncertainties with your admissions representative, ultimately contributing to a more seamless and well-informed application procedure.

Benefits of a Graduate Degree

  • On average, those with a master's degree earn 20% more than those with only a bachelor's degree. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school graduates average $746 per week, college graduates average $1,248 per week, and workers with master’s degrees earn nearly $1,500 per week.

  • A master’s degree can and often does make a job candidate more desirable. Only 14.4% of adults in America have a graduate degree. So it can really set you apart and strengthen your ability to stay employed during economic downturns.

  • Jobs that require a master’s degree at an entry-level are projected to grow by 15% between 2019-29, the fastest across all education levels.

  • The return on investment (ROI) for master’s degrees is almost triple that of undergraduate degrees.

I was not planning on attending college because my husband and I are both self-employed, but when I realized that work for the courses would help me solidify our businesses and organize them in a more standard way, it was an easy decision.

Matilda Donovan, MBA


Career Services is happy to help you navigate the application process, offering mock interviews and assistance in reviewing potential interview questions you may face. Reach out or visit Kevin Allen in Welder Library.


Most schools will specify if any test(s) are needed for admission and what constitutes a competitive score. The most common tests are the GRE, GMAT, Miller Analogies Test, MCAT, OAT, DAT, and LSAT. If you plan to go straight from undergrad into graduate school. These tests are typically taken in the fall of your undergraduate senior year.


Some graduate programs have an interview process. You can find helpful information about the interview process and questions to ask on our interview resources page.

University of Mary Online

Thinking about furthering your education? The University of Mary offers scholarships to help our students take that next step.