You've decided to continue your education after you graduate, but you're not sure where. No wonder ÔÇô the number of programs out there is enough to make anyone lose focus. If your chosen field requires you to obtain a graduate degree in order to continue, your decision is fairly straightforward and comes down to comparing university programs. But if you don't necessarily need to have a post-graduate education to get work in your field, you should be asking yourself some tough questions before starting your application process.
The first thing you need to figure out is where you want to live while you study. Factor in family obligations, cost, and the sacrifices you're willing to make to pursue your area of interest. Narrowing down the geographical areas you're willing and able to live in will reduce the number of programs you'll have to choose from.
Now, determine what exactly it is you want to spend your time studying. Unlike undergrads, post-graduate students aim to specialize. Business undergrads may want to focus on marketing in grad school, for example; political science majors might want to study the Middle East in depth. Determine your area of specific interest, then compile a list of programs within your chosen geographical areas that fit the bill. By looking at program specifics, as well as the experts available on faculty, your choice should be narrowed down even more.
When it comes to the kinds of post-graduate degrees you can earn, there are a lot of options. Universities usually offer both master's and doctorates. A master's degree is often more practical in nature, often research-based. A doctorate is more intellectual in nature, and allows students in delve into the theory and philosophy behind their field of study. These two types of degrees also provide different career opportunities, depending on the field of study and your desired end-result career. When it comes to deciding which degree to earn, knowing what you want to do with it makes all the difference. Researching your options takes time, but it's better to do it now than find out later you've made decisions that don't take your fundamental needs and goals into account. By strategically planning your education, you'll avoid major reversals down the road.
University can help you get master's and doctorates essential for fields like law, engineering, medicine, science, and even business management. Programs generally range in length from three to five years, but medical studies can last a decade. Universities provide theory-based learning, so students should be prepared to write research papers, exams, and possibly complete a thesis.
Colleges, on the other hand, offer one and two year programs and tend to be more hands-on in learning style. Many college programs will expose you to a work environment immediately via an internship or co-op placement, or by reproducing the work environment in the classroom. Courses range in length from two months to two years, resulting in certificates or diplomas. At some industry-specific schools, however, you may be able to earn a master's degree. jp
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