Best Schools For Masters In Education – The first step is to make a decision to study at a master’s degree. The second step is to choose one. The process can be complicated, but this guide will provide you with information on how to choose a graduate program and set yourself up for success.
Taking the next step in your educational journey means making a commitment to yourself and your future. With so many graduate schools to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which option is best for you.
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Deciding whether to go to graduate school first can be difficult. Graduate certificates are also an option for those looking to improve a specific skill set, and in many cases can be earned on the way to a master’s degree.
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According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of graduate and doctoral students is growing and is projected to be 6 percent higher in 2030 than in 2020 (3.3 million vs. 3.1 million students, respectively).
This blog post will provide some tips on how to choose a graduate program that fits your goals and lifestyle, and one that will help you succeed.
Before you begin the graduate school application process, take the time to understand what you want to get out of your graduate school experience.
Whether you want to explore career opportunities, gain new professional skills and connections, or return to academia for personal development, thinking clearly about your “why” can help clarify your next steps.
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“While postgraduate study can open up a new career path, don’t count on it if you’re not sure what you want to do next or aren’t happy with your current job,” says Kimberley. Park, executive director of student advising, recruitment and admissions at Harvard Business School. “Instead, take time for self-reflection and research all possible options, including informal interviews with people who work and work in the fields that interest you.”
Once you understand the “why,” the value of a higher education can extend far beyond the individual.
“The difference you’ll be able to make in your community with your new skills and connections, the impact you’ll have on friends and family by modeling the discipline and responsibility needed to complete the program, and the confidence you’ll gain for all of these reasons and many others are invaluable,” adds Park.
There are several elements to consider when deciding which graduate program to pursue, says Amanda Peters, director of career counseling and programming at the Harvard School of Economics.
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“Each person really needs to prioritize what is important to them and what will allow them to succeed. Find what is most valuable and prioritized, and everything else will be evaluated based on that,” says Peters. “You want to make sure you can commit to the program.”
The most personal part of choosing a graduate school is evaluating what is most important to you. These priorities can be divided into several main categories.
Consider whether the program will help you advance in your career. Also, think about your personal passion for your chosen field and whether you see yourself in the field long-term.
Most adults who work full-time on top of family responsibilities probably don’t have time to take two or three years off to complete graduate school. Online classes or alternative class schedules may work best for you.
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Once you’ve identified a few master’s programs you’re interested in, you’ll need to research whether you meet the entry requirements. You’ll also want to know exactly what requirements you’ll need to meet to get your degree.
For example, some programs may require you to take an entrance exam; others, such as Harvard, may require you to successfully complete a course or two.
Most graduate programs list both entry qualifications and graduation requirements on their websites. You can also contact each school’s graduate admissions office directly for more clarity.
Having a variety of options available at the time of application can also be beneficial, giving you more options later in the process.
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Contact individual graduate schools for more information about resources such as internship and research opportunities, academic support and tutoring, networking spaces, career services, and childcare options if you are a parent.
If you can’t relocate to attend school in person, or if the location simply isn’t financially feasible, find out if a graduate school offers online degrees.
Some online master’s programs may require you to attend a portion of your courses on campus. Be sure to check whether there is a residency requirement and, if so, whether you can realistically meet it.
College is a big investment, so take the time to understand all the program costs and how they fit into your budget. You want to find the program options that are convenient for you.
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As Julie Lonergan, Associate Director of Advising and Admissions at the Harvard School of Economics advises, “Research your options for financial aid, grants, and loans, and ask your employer about tuition reimbursement options. Be creative when searching for scholarships and grants, as you can find ones that are specific to your field of study, geographic location, industry, and more.
Deciding what to prioritize when choosing a graduate school is a process unique to each graduate, but there are a few common factors to consider.
“Regardless of your ultimate goal, learning from top-notch faculty or those with extensive academic and research experience will set you up for success,” says Lonergan.
The faculty and professors must teach an up-to-date curriculum that gives you the knowledge you need to succeed in the next steps.
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Contact the graduate school for information on average class sizes and what resources each school provides to help graduates succeed, such as career guidance, mentoring opportunities, professional development, and advising. Most graduate schools will also publish this information on their websites.
To get answers about the opportunities, talk to those who have had the opportunity to use them the most: current or recent graduates.
Social media groups are also a good source for honest insights into campus life and facilities, such as libraries, research labs, classrooms, and online spaces.
Look for alumni, faculty, and administration demographics that can often be found on school websites. Talking to current graduates or alumni is also a way to find out what kind of students each particular graduate school or program attracts.
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Peters recommends searching for alumni using platforms like LinkedIn to learn about their trajectories after graduation. If their stories inspire you, that’s a positive sign that a graduate program might be right for you.
School websites will also often include profiles of current graduates and alumni that can provide insight into their education and career outcomes.
Many graduates are ready to share their experience. Feel free to contact alumni in your potential field when doing research on a specific graduate program.
Future graduates should know one thing: they are not alone. There are many sources to get an idea of how to choose a graduate program and help you narrow down your search.
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Professional associations, alumni associations, current students and faculty, school admissions offices, and industry newsletters are great resources to learn more about the programs you’re researching.
Enrollment Coaches are also specially and uniquely equipped to guide you through the journey of choosing a graduate program and ensure you get the most out of your experience.
“Learning is inquiry in all its forms, so as a student whose job it is to learn, look for answers and ask for help,” says Park. “If there’s a place you should do it, it’s school!”
A master’s program is a daunting task, but it can set you on a new career path, connect you with like-minded students, faculty, and alumni who support your success, and help you discover who you are. – and who will you be?
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