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4 Reasons Grad School is the Ideal First Step In a Career Change

By Lana Whitehead on August 14, 2019

Graduate School Resources


It's only 1 PM and you've already looked at the clock a half-dozen times calculating the minutes until you can go home. It's natural for everyone to feel a little restless in their job from time to time, but if you constantly find yourself unhappy in your work, it might be time to consider making a change. 

Chances are you began your career with excitement and enthusiasm, only to find it wasn't exactly what you had imagined in your undergrad classes. The good new is — switching careers may sound intimidating, but now is a better time than ever to make the jump. There are plenty of ways to switch fields mid-career, but you want to take a path that qualifies you for higher-level positions, not just in your current company, but in other industries.

It's a simple solution that often offers big returns — changing careers by earning your master’s degree.

Planning to make a change in your professional life this year? Download The  Career Changer's Guide to Graduate School by clicking here!

Why Grad School?

Returning to the classroom after being out of school for a few years may sound like the last thing you need to add to your busy life, but going back to school could be the best first step in a career transition.

More and more adults are using a master’s degree to leverage themselves into new industries and higher-paying salaries in the middle of their career. We’re here to explain how and why you should head back to school in order to make that career move you’ve been carefully contemplating.

Grad school gives you the expertise you need to be fulfilled in your next role.

If you've been thinking about a different career or industry, you might be hesitant because of how much you don’t know. That job you’ve been dreaming about should be at the forefront of your mind as you pick a graduate program. Sticking with your goal through the rigor of graduate school will provide you with the experience and hands-on skills needed to excel in a new career.

If you’re apprehensive about taking time away from your family or that you won’t be able to handle a job and grad school, remember that the majority of graduate programs are offered full-time AND part-time. Depending on your situation, you can pick the course load that works best for your schedule. You can also be a part-time graduate student and remain a full-time employee to help manage expenses. Additionally, online graduate programs and distance learning are available as convenient options if commuting isn’t possible in your current situation.

Grad school provides you with a professional network in your new field.

You probably have a solid network in your current role, but these contacts won’t necessarily help advance your career if you decide to switch to a new profession. Taking courses from experts in your chosen field offers a huge advantage. Get to know your professors and let them know how serious you are about changing careers. Talk to your classmates and get to know them and their networks.

Faculty and classmates can be available as references and/or job resources down the road, so take the time to work with your professors and classmates and help them learn more about you. Strengthening relationships as you study can lead to job opportunities, internships, or other useful experiences as you make a career transition.

Grad school allows you time for personal growth.

While college can be a time to discover your strengths and passions, there’s a good chance you came out of your undergraduate year without really knowing yourself or what you wanted from a career. Going back to graduate school can serve as a second chance to reevaluate your strengths, tackle a challenge, and fall in love with learning. Many people talk about the sense of accomplishment that they have when they think about their years of graduate study, and how, holistically, it made them a stronger and better person.

Grad school enhances your credibility and makes you more hireable.

As you might expect, having a master’s degree can make a big difference in the industry you want to move into. A graduate degree shows your commitment to moving up in an industry and an eagerness to learn more. Advanced degree programs are often specialized and focused on a particular set of skills, so you are more qualified when you apply for that professional management position that has “MBA preferred” in the job description.

Employers also see a graduate degree as a sign of a strong work ethic. Graduate school is no simple task, especially if you got a degree while working, and employers know that the time management skills and soft skills you develop while earning a graduate degree are valuable assets in an employee.

Make Your Career Change Today!

Graduate school is a strategic and wise first step toward the career you want, but the only way to get there is to take a confident step forward. Career-changing doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal, it’s part of an adventure into new successes and opportunities. Grad school is the best path to provide you with the knowledge, experience, and resources you need to land a job in your new field. To learn more about how grad school can help you, contact us today! 

Are you ready to start your next career? Check out this comprehensive guide for career changers and discover tips and information to make your transition a breeze —The Career Changer's Guide to Graduate School.

Download the Guide


Lana Whitehead
Written by Lana Whitehead

Lana Whitehead is the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Admission at Kent State University. Lana attended Northwestern University and enjoyed a consulting career in Chicago before becoming a stay-at-home mom of six children. After earning her master’s degree from Youngstown State University, Lana embarked on a career in higher education. Lana has held positions in academic support, advising, student services and enrollment management. In her free time, Lana enjoys landscaping, gardening and spending time with family.

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Lana Whitehead on August 14, 2019

It's only 1 PM and you've already looked at the clock a half-dozen times calculating the minutes until you can go home. It's natural for everyone to feel a little restless in their job from time...

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