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Should I go to graduate school?


Crossroads ImageJake at Utah State University asked:

I am debating whether or not to attend graduate school? I am not convinced that my current career in human resources is for me, however I don’t feel like I know exactly what I want to do in grad school. How can I better discover my unique skills and interests so I can shape my career for the future?

Hi Jake

It is wise to approach graduate school with caution.  Getting a graduate degree can be a great option.  It can also be a big mistake. When you go to graduate school, you want to be sure you are doing so for the right reasons and based on sound expectations for what you will get out of it.  A graduate degree will not make you more qualified for employment or allow you to command a higher salary.  Some graduate degrees will; others will not.  I’d like to you to review two of my recent blogs on this topic:

Can’t find a job? Why not just go to grad school? 

How can I find the right career path for me?

Don’t rush into graduate school!

If you are uncertain about your current career path in human resources, try to identify the source of that uncertainty.

What do you like about it?  What do you dislike about it?  What do you want to keep and what do you want to avoid in your next job or career path?  What role in your career transition can a graduate degree play?

How much of your dissatisfaction is related to the industry or the work, and how much is related to the work environment or organizational culture?  Sometimes a change of scenery (doing the same kind of work in a different kind of place) is the right solution.  Sometimes a career change is the right solution. Sometimes you need a combination of both. And, sometimes a graduate degree can help you make the transition.

If you go to graduate school, you will be making a big investment of your time, your energy and your money.  Invest wisely!

Good luck!



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