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decisions, decisions

So for those of you in grad school right now - what made you decide to further your education?  Was it a specific job you had your eye on, or the making-more-money with a bigger degree aspect?  Maybe a combination?  How did you decide what grad program to go into?I'm a psychology major and I'm fairly certain that I want to (and sort of need to) go on to a master's once I get my BA, but I'm really uncertain about the program that I would want and such.If you have advice for me, great!  Otherwise, I'd just like to know your process in choosing a school/career path.  TIA!
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Re: decisions, decisions

  • Because all my friends were doing it. I know it sounds like I’m joking, but all but one of my good girlfriends went to grad school. My research advisor told me I’d get bored just being a lab tech and should consider grad school so I could get a higher-level job. More money always sounds good, and I liked school, so I decided to look into grad school. For chemistry all the programs pay a stipend and provide health insurance and tuition remission, so finances weren’t an issue. Didn’t sound bad, so I went for it. Turns out, I hated working a minimum of 50 hours a week in lab. Also, at least in chemistry, everyone is very type-A. Now, I’m type-A, but I can’t deal with a lot of other people like me. Ended up getting the masters and not sticking around for a PhD. Before grad school, I’d wanted to do lab work in industry and never wanted to teach. I hated my research in grad school but enjoyed teaching. Now I’m teaching at a community college and loving it. Visit lots of schools! Make sure there are at least 2 profs there who you’d like for an advisor. Sometimes a prof decides to not take any more students. Talk with multiple students who work for the prof. Find out how long it takes students to get their degree, and ask what they end up using their degree for. If they all go into academia, but that’s not your thing, that school might not be the best fit for you.
  • I got my BA in Psych too. And unfortunately to do most job in psychology or mental health you need to go on after your BA. Obviously, there are some but most of them only require a high school diploma with BA preferred and won't pay much. I was going to go for the PsyD but that would have been 5 more years of school and that just wasn't for me, and I looked into social work and in my opinion there's tons of more jobs you can do with an MSW so that's what I did, and it's only 2 years. I'm in my second year of the MSW degree now and will be graduating in May! I think in this field it makes the most sense to get at least the masters now. [url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/] [img]http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/d/4;10714;6/st/20091227/e/Our+Christmas+Wedding/k/0a7d/event.png[/img][/url]
  • Well, first of all I decided part way through law school that I wanted to be an attorney, rather than a teacher or something related to that.  To be a lawyer you gotta go to law school, so here I am.However, prior to that, i was still likely to go straight to grad school anyway.  My parents are both teachers, and they told me that the field is more and more favoring people with masters and doctorates for raises, certain positions, etc.  They said its hard to go back once you are out and working, so I was going to go straight through and get all my education out of the way.It comes down to what a bachelors degree will get you in your field, compared to a graduate degree.  Does the cost of the extra degree lead you to a significantly higher paying job, or a job that is more interesting to you?
  • I chose to go on to graduate school because I wanted to teach multiply handicapped students. I couldn't do it without the additional degree and certification. The wonderful thing about a major like psychology is that you can do almost anything with the degree. I would say that you should figure out what job you want in the future, and then figure out if you need the degree. If you do, or just want to go graduate school, make sure you talk to both professors and students because graduate school is very different than undergrad. Best of luck!!
  • Thanks for all of your responses!  It really sounds like it would definitely be worth it in the long run.  I just need to do a lot more research about where to go with that next.
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