UIC Office of Career Services
Student Services Building,
1200 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-3344
Phone: (312) 996-2300
Fax: (312) 413-0383
M-F : 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
As new and upcoming graduates look at their future, many think it may be easier to stay in school and wait for the situation to improve. In addition to the challenging job market, the fear of entering the "real world" and the misconception that having a higher degree will automatically increase ones pay makes graduate school more appealing. While graduate school may be beneficial for some, it may be detrimental for others. The financial, physical, and emotional cost of graduate school can be great. Please consider all your options and do not rush into a decision. You will definitely want to attend our Graduate and Professional School Fair to speak with schools you are considering:
2014 Chicago Graduate and Professional School Fair
Thursday, October 2, 2014
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm in the UIC Forum
Representatives from more than 200 graduate and professional schools nationwide will be available to provide information and materials regarding their specific programs. Admission is FREE. Please RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chicago-graduate-professional-school-fair-tickets-11708619797.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Does your long term career goal require a graduate degree?
If you know for certain you want to be a neurosurgeon, a lawyer, or even a college professor; then a graduate degree is going to be required. However, if you're still deciding on your career choice, it may be advantageous to wait before going to graduate school.
Do you have the experience you need?
Some graduate programs require or expect students to have experience prior to entering the program. Research the type of program that fits your career goals so you know whether taking some time off will make you a better candidate for the program that interest you. Also, going directly to graduate school without getting any work experience may harm your job search. Employers expect job seekers to have a combination of education and experience.
Are you exhausted from spending the past 4 to 6 years getting your undergraduate degree?
Getting an undergraduate degree can be exhausting and getting a graduate degree can be even more exhausting. Don't begin a program before you are emotionally and physically ready to give it your all. If you start the program exhausted, it is going to be difficult to have the energy to complete the program.
Can you manage the financial responsibilities of graduate school?
Look into your finances and options for assistance before making your final decision. If working and saving for a year or two will ease your financial burden, it may be worth it so that you can focus on school when you begin your program and not worry as much about how to pay for the program. Also make sure to look into what types of assistance are available at the school, through your community, and even through your employer. Finding out what percentage of graduate students in your program of interest receive financial assistant will tell you how likely you are to receive help in paying for the program.
How is graduate school going to impact the other areas of your life?
Look at what else and who else is going to be impacted by your decision to attend graduate school. How will this decision impact your ability to work? How will this decision impact your health? How will this decision impact your interaction with your significant other, your children, your family, and your most dear friends? Are the benefits stronger than the disadvantages?
OTHER RESOURCES TO HELP WITH YOUR DECISION
The Career Exploration Center in the UIC Office of Career Services has a special section dedication to exploring, identifying, and applying to graduate school. It contains more than 60 books and is located in Room 3050 of the Student Services Building.
FOCUS 2 is an online system that helps you identify undergraduate majors, advanced degrees, and career options that may be a good fit, and provide you with tools to explore those options. While your exploration can be completely self-directed, you will get the most out of the experience by working with a career advisor. Click here to access FOCUS 2.
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