© 2002
Eric Hastie

Okay now you want to go, but when?

When should you consider earning a master's?

After you have decided what degree to pursue, it is important to tackle the dilemma of continuing your studies at the same college as your undergraduate degree or going elsewhere.

Most people suggest you vary the school experience by obtaining the master's at a college different from your undergraduate school. This helps broaden your knowledge within the field. You can always come back and teach at your alma mater afterward.

In the journalism field students are encouraged to gain real world experience prior to graduate school. However, if you have had internships and jobs while an undergraduate, you may want to consider the direct route.

There are some good reasons to consider the direct approach:

  • You are in the student mindset
  • Your obligations are limited
  • It's easier than disrupting a career later on
  • The job market may not be so hot at the moment
  • You don't have enormous debt

There are also reasons for waiting to attend grad school:

  • You can better know your career goals
  • Some programs require work experience
  • You bring a different viewpoint to your studies
  • Some employers will pay for the schooling