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Why Graduate Education is Good for YOU. Reasons for Advancing beyond the BA/B 11 /4/2013. CONTENT-ORIENTED REASONS . Sharper/deeper knowledge base in selected field. Greater skill development in researching/solving problems.

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Why graduate education is good for you

Why Graduate Education is Good for YOU

Reasons for Advancing beyond the BA/B


Content oriented reasons

  • Sharper/deeper knowledge base in selected field.

  • Greater skill development in researching/solving problems.

  • Increased sophistication in articulating ideas (oral and written formats)

Personal reasons

  • More mature on leaving graduate program.

  • Greater self-knowledge: “who am I and what can I do?”

  • Desire to conduct research to satisfy curiosity (a major criterion for engaging in research—answering “why?”).

Income reasons

  • Hiring Level Increases = $$ increases

  • Masters degree - People with a master's degree earn $2.5 million:

    • High School to Masters - Going from High school to a masters degree is worth $1.3 million dollars.

    • Bachelors to Masters degree - A Masters is worth $400,000 in additional lifetime income.

Professional degree www dbaoracle comt increased earnings income bachelors masters doctorate htm
Professional degreewww.dbaoracle.comt_increased_earnings_income_bachelors_masters_doctorate.htm

  • Those with MD or JD professional degrees (medicine, law) do best with an average of $4.4 million dollars in lifetime earnings:

  • High school to Professional - Professionals can expect to earn  $3.2 million dollars more than a High School graduate.

  • Bachelors to Professional - Professional doctoral degree holders (MD, JD) earn $2.3 million dollars more than those with a Bachelors degree.

  • Masters to Professional - Professional degree holders earn $1.9 million dollars more than an average Masters degree holder.

Doctoral degree
Doctoral degree -

  • Persons with doctoral degrees earn an average of $3.4 million during their working life:

    • High school to Doctoral - Doctorate earn a whopping  $2.2 million dollars more than a High School graduate.

    • Bachelors to Doctorate - Doctoral degrees earn $1.3 million dollars more than a Bachelors degree.

    • Masters to Doctorate - Doctors earn $900 thousand more than a Masters degree holder.

What about program level
What about program “Level?”

  • MA only institutions

    • Focus is on YOU at graduate level

  • MA/PhD institutions

    • Attention is split between MA and PhD students

  • PhD only institutions

    • As with MA-only, focus is on YOU

Which program is best
Which program is best?

  • For ‘academic/research oriented programs (producing new professors)—what have their student’s achieved?

  • For “professional” programs – accredited? Student achievement?

  • Financial Support?

What questions should i consider
What Questions Should I Consider?

  • Profiling Current Students-Who are they?

  • Program’s Track Record—do students finish?

  • Do Faculty/Program goals/interests mesh with mine?

Who pays
Who Pays?

  • Professional Programs: there are fewer opportunities for funding support, but some do exist.

  • Academic/Research Programs:

    • Teaching Assistantships

    • Research Assistantships

    • Adminstrative Assistantships

      • This one cuts across Prof./Academic areas

Writing the personal statement
Writing the personal statement

  • Initial questions

  • Who reads the personal statement?

  • What are the readers looking for?

  • Glimpse of personality – who you are

  • What you’ve already done to prepare for grad school

  • Curricular focus/interests – ideas, theories, scholars of interest

Fitting in your goals
Fitting in – Your goals

  • FIT – how do you see yourself contributing to a program?

  • Do your goals mesh well with program strengths?

  • Is there faculty research that fits your interests?

  • Show you know which faculty are doing ‘x’ that interests you

  • What do you want to become? A professor? Or ??

Thematic issues i

  • Program Reputation – ‘you have a nice faculty’ isn’t quite right for a statement – be specific/precise in noting program’s value

  • Funding –Teaching assistantship – stipend + tuition; Research assistantship – stipend + tuition

  • Administrative assistantship – stipend + tuition

Thematic issues ii
Thematic issues II

  • What are you willing/interested in doing re. funding? –

  • Teaching: What experiences have you had re. teaching? What do most entering students teach?

  • Research: What topics/areas are you most interested in working with/in?

  • Admin – what special skills do you have that may help in an administrative role?

Thematic issues iii anomalies dealing with constraints
Thematic issues III Anomalies: dealing with constraints

  • Poor academic record?

  • Lower than expected GRE scores?

  • Deal with issues in straightforward/open manner – explain general situation

Cautionary advice
Cautionary advice

  • Over-selling yourself – do not overstate the case – forthright but not “effusive” excitement at the possibility of studying with ‘x’ scholar.

  • Cuteness – do not be so creative as to seem “cute”

  • Where – Small Rural Area, Big City –are you comfortable in either?

Caution 2
Caution 2

  • Proof read – then do it again

  • Spell-check and grammar check are not reliable

  • Use another reader to proof for you

  • Pay attention to requirements re. packet – are there specific instructions as to length/format of personal statement?

Final advice
Final advice

  • Write in First Person – “I…..”

  • Write in a clear precise style: “here is who I am” is what is to be communicated

  • Avoid technical jargon or elegant/embellished prose

  • Let research sample illustrate your knowledge of how to do research

  • Bottom line: why are you interested in their program – communicate that interest in a style that is clear, precise, and well structured.