Steps to Consider When Pursuing a Graduate Degree

With the new year, you might be thinking about pursuing formal education. Graduate education may be an option. The below piece from the Washington Post published on January 5, 2020 by K. H. Queen captures some good points. It’s particularly designed for someone who is working and considering graduate school.

Of the points, I think the need to define the jobs that are out of reach because you don’t have a degree is the most important. A graduate degree – whether a graduate certificate, master’s degree or doctoral degree – is an expensive undertaking. Don’t do it just to fill in the time or because you’ve got nothing else going on. Do the groundwork and research in advance to plot out the fields that a degree would help you out most in.

In my career coaching, I’ve focused on international related careers. If you go to this page, I’ve linked a number of directories that list graduate programs (particularly in conflict resolution and international peacebuilding fields).

It might be helpful to spend sometime with a career coach before you make the decision (which can involve fees, taking the GRE, LSAT or other exams, and filling out applications). I’d welcome a chance to explore options with you. Let me know!

Here’s hoping for a great 2020 regardless of your pathway!


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

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