Considering Graduate/Professional School

If you’re deciding if and when to go to grad school, there are several factors for you to consider. Ask the following questions to help determine what route is best for you.

The most important question is whether graduate school is necessary for your career. To figure this out, visit our Labor Market Insights to learn about the education level requirement for your career goal.  You might also try to conduct informational interviews with people who hold positions you’re drawn to and make an appointment with your Career Coach for additional guidance.

The decision to attend graduate school should include considering multiple factors such as:

  • Is an advanced degree required to achieve your Career Goal? Unsure of your Career Goal? Start developing yours here.
  • Investment of time, money, and energy
  • Your marketability to an employer now versus with an advanced degree
  • Research Salary information for jobs in your field with and without advanced degree
  • Opportunities within your chosen career field now or in the future
  • Your motivation to continue being a student


How willing am I to invest more money or take on more debt to obtain an advanced degree?

Not Willing   1       2       3       4       5       Very Willing

How willing am I to miss out on one or more years of full-time income while in grad school?

Not Willing   1       2       3       4       5       Very Willing

Will my first-year salary with an advanced degree exceed my loan balance; will I make more than I borrowed?

Not Sure/No 1       2       3       4       5       Yes, Definitely
(requires research: visit

Am I pursuing graduate school because I’m worried about finding a job in the current job market?

Yes, worried 1       2       3       4       5       No, not worried

Do I have a career goal and is an advanced degree required to achieve it?

No Goal or Not Required   1       2       3       4       5       Yes, Required

Further information regarding benefits of earning an advanced degree

Many students attend a graduate program right after Augustana, while others spend time working before attending. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.