What To Consider Before Picking A Masters Degree


So you’ve finished your BA or BS. You might have waited a couple of years. Perhaps, you decided to move to China for two years. Maybe you worked in your field for five years (or not), or maybe you decided it was easier to scoop ice cream and shack up at your parents’ place. Regardless, the point is that you decided to go to grad school. And that is precisely the reason we are having this conversation. There are a few necessary things to consider before applying (and attending) grad school.



First of all, in order to figure out the big question of what to even study, narrow down a list of your interests. For example, if you know that you love sports, but want to do something more general with it, why not get an MBA with an emphasis in sports management? Or if you know for sure that you want to be a Physician’s Assistant, then try to come up with a few topics of research you’d be willing to do. Regardless of what you love, if you’re not specific enough about it, you will feel scattered during your master’s, so give it some thought.


Next, you’ll want to consider the level of practicality your desired degree possesses. Ultimately, you’re not going to school for nothing, so if you know in advance that the particular degree you want will not in any way benefit you in the job market post-graduation, then your best best will probably be to opt for a different direction. For example, instead of doing an MFA, get an MA in art education, or opt for doing an MSc in in computer science if you know you want to stay in the field. Also, a great deal of practicality actuality pertains to what you’ll be writing your thesis on (assuming that you’ll choose to write one). If the topic is relevant to the field you’ll be studying, and if you find a professor that can be your advisor on the topic, then you’re in the clear.

Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s okay not to be great at everything, otherwise we’d live in a pretty mundane world. If you know that math isn’t your forte, while you can be determined and be successful in getting an engineering degree, just understand that it won’t be a simple feat, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, you know what needs more or less attention in terms of your skill set.


This question is an important one, but at the same time, there’s no use in stressing about it excessively. You’ll still get a master’s no matter where you study, but knowing what kind of programs are available where is still important. For example, if you’re getting an MS in electrical engineering and it is offered at only a few places that you’re willing to go to, then keep in mind how many options you’ll have, as well as what kind of an institution you want to attend. Price, location, and prestige are also important factors to weigh in when making a decision as to where to study. As long as you feel that your time, money, and efforts are worth pursuing whichever degree you’re considering getting a master’s in, then go for it. Grad school will just further enrich your mind, and also challenge your opinions and worldview. So choose wisely, but also don’t feel overly pressured when making this decision. It’s your education, and more importantly, your life.