In a series of three articles for PolicyMic.com recently, we discussed how people can best decided whether, when, and where to attend graduate school. Here are some excerpts and some recent information in other news outlets that we think will be helpful: Tbe key questions to be answered are:
- Why do I want to do this?
- When is the right time to pursue such a degree?
- Who can I ask for advice about this, andwhat do they say?
- Where is the best place I can obtain the degree, and how do I determine this?
In our first article in this series, we asked our network of over 100 MBAs on LinkedIn Linkedin to help us answer the first two questions, the Why and the When. In the second article, we addressed the Who and the What. We now answer the last question, involving the Where and the How.
As mentioned in our previous article, considering the needs of your spouse, partner or family should be of paramount importance, because their support is critical. One alumnus integrated several criteria when answering the question. “We needed to be in state where my wife, a PA-C, could not only be licensed but maximize her clinical skills as well. The second factor was the quality of the program. The third factor was the financial aid package.”
Once again, deciding to pursue a graduate degree is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. So make sure you answer all four questions before making it. Getting input fromClose Connections who have already earned graduate degrees, Trustworthy Talent whose opinions you can trust, Professional Pundits like HR folks and recruiters, and alumni from those institutions you are considering, can all help you make the best decision for you.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that some employers are providing tangible assistance for graduate school to their employees, beyond the traditional tuition reimbursement that employers have offered (and sometimes discontinued) over the past several decades:
As a means of attracting stellar young hires, an increasing number of firms in finance, consulting and technology are shepherding employees through the graduate-school admissions process by organizing and paying for test-preparation courses, inviting admissions consultants to help with applications, arranging mock interviews with senior staffers and even bringing school representatives to information sessions at the office.
Companies support staffers attending a number of graduate programs, but business school is by far the most common destination.
It may seem counterintuitive to encourage employees to head for the exits, but firms say that assisting with the graduate-school application process leads to long-term loyalty and, with strings attached to tuition money, improves the chances that employees will return after graduation. (Most companies reimburse employees only after they’ve been back for a number of months or even years.)
Such programs have been in place for a while, but have grown more popular in recent years as the recruiting process heats up.
Does your employer encourage you to pursue graduate school, and if so how? What advice have you sought in evaluating whether to return to school, who has influenced, and how?