Assess Your Readiness:

If you are serious about considering graduate school, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to do with your career, and how earning a graduate degree will help you reach that goal. If you have any doubt at all about your professional goals, consider putting off graduate school and, instead, devote time to self-assessment and career planning. Consider the following questions:

  • Why are you considering graduate school and what are your career goals?
  • Which degree programs will prepare you to achieve these goals?
  • Are you aware of and prepared for academic challenges?
  • Do you have the financial resources necessary to complete the degree?
  • Is your passion for your intended field of study and career plans evident in your academic background and experience?

Graduate School Knock-Out Factors:

If the following statements apply to you, then it’s probably not the right time for you to pursue graduate school.

  • The job market is really tight, graduate school is a good way for me to avoid the job search.
  • Both job search and economic fluctuation are inevitable. You will face both throughout your life. This is not a reason to attend graduate school.
  • I’m uncertain about whether I can get a job with my undergraduate major. Therefore, pursuing graduate school right after graduating instead of pursuing a job search seems like a good idea.
  • The link between an undergraduate major and a job is not clear in many professions. For example, Philosophy majors work on Wall Street, and Economic majors join non-profit organizations. See for yourself by visiting What Can I Do With This Major or search the Rutgers Student-Alumni Career Connect system by major.
  • I just heard about a ‘hot’ career industry that I want to break into, I should immediately apply to relevant graduate programs
  • Graduate School is a path for students who are committed to a specific field of study. It is not designed to explore or ‘try things out’ in the same way as an undergraduate degree. Graduate school is a significant investment in time and money, so you want to make sure you are serious about embarking on the journey.