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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Graduate school decision should be based on career program

Senior Ariel Ehmer’s decision to go to graduate school was an easy one.

She always knew she wanted to go.

“School and academics have always been really important to me,” she said. “There’s never been a doubt in my mind that I was going to pursue higher education.”

Ehmer, a history and political science double major, will be going to American University in Washington, D.C. to get her master’s degree.

Graduating seniors like Ehmer may be deciding whether to attend graduate school or go into the workforce.

Margaret Zoller Booth, associate dean of the graduate college, said deciding to go to graduate school is a whole different process than thinking about undergraduate school.

“Most undergraduates, they think of the school,” Booth said. “At the graduate level, you’re normally thinking of the program and the profession, not the institution.”

For example, people of certain professions would suggest students studying these areas leave school, get experience and go back to graduate school, she said.

A lot of graduate work is professionally oriented, Booth said.

“Lot’s of those types of professions like it if you’ve been out in the work force,” Booth said.

After she gets her master’s degree, Ehmer said she will probably get professional experience before considering getting her Ph.D.

“For some people, it’s better to go get a job and come back,” Booth said.

This can be good because sometimes undergraduate students get a job in their profession and don’t like it, Booth said.

Cameron Hubbard, a senior American Culture Studies major, is planning to teach English as a Second Language when he graduates.

“I want to take a couple of years off and save money to go to graduate school,” Hubbard said. “I’d rather do field experience first.”

Hubbard wants to do this because he thinks it will look better when he’s applying to get into graduate school.

“I want to get teaching experience and also to travel,” he said.

Some students are afraid they won’t come back to school after they’re in the “real world,” Booth said.

“Very often the people who come back are more motivated in school,” Booth said. “Because of what they’ve seen in the real world. They see how what they’re learning is really applicable, or there are real life problems in their profession they want to solve.”

The University has received 2,784 graduate applications for fall 2013, according to an email from Gary Swegan. As for this semester, there are 2,412 graduate students enrolled and 537 of them have a prior degree from the University.

The University is also offering a new program called four plus one, where students can get an undergraduate degree at the University and then continue and get a master’s degree in one year.

Ehmer decided to get her master’s degree because she thinks it will help boost her career.

“I want to work for the state department in politics and in the government,” Ehmer said.

She decided to go to graduate school now because she said her job opportunities would be limited now for the work she wants to do and she’s “not totally ready to say goodbye to the college atmosphere.”

Some students may think it’s better to attend a different graduate school than where they went to undergraduate, but Booth said it depends on the program.

“Look where you are and then decide,” Booth said. “If [the school you’re at] has an excellent program, why go somewhere else?”

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