Five Reasons Why You Should Pursue That Graduate Degree

Are you considering going to graduate school, but worried that the many challenges adults face going back to school might make it too much of a burden? With online learning options at Northcentral University, there are literally no more excuses. Here are the top five reasons why you should pursue a graduate degree.

Reason #1: Earn the degree you need and pursue the career you want, without sacrificing time with friends and family.

Sure, going back to grad school will take up some of your free time. But with NCU’s weekly course starts and assignments, you’ll just need a tweak in your week to balance family time and schoolwork. Pete, NCU student pursuing an EdD in Organizational Leadership, suggests that you “take one day at a time.” He also encourages students to, “Plan your day/week to offer yourself the proper amount of time to complete your homework assignments.”

Reason #2: Pursue a graduate program that enhances your professional goals, without requiring any physical residency, making it ideal for you as a working professional.

You won’t be alone as a working adult returning to graduate school. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately four million of the students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities in 2010 were 35 years of age or older. One of the biggest positives for enrolling at NCU is the university’s flexibility. With course starts every Monday, prospective students can create a schedule that fits into work. With no physical residency requirements and the convenience of online learning, this is ideal for self-starters, no matter where you live and work. You have the flexibility to choose when and where you work on your weekly assignments, so you can fit pursuing your goals online into your personal and professional schedule.

Reason #3: Make lasting professional connections that help build educational and professional success

Often the most daunting idea for adults who consider going to grad school is the thought of walking into a classroom filled with hundreds of students. One of the most unique aspects of the NCU experience is the one-to-one learning model. In NCU’s program, you are paired for every course with a professor who holds a doctoral degree in a class size of one. You receive individualized instruction that can lead to a deeper understanding of the material. The interaction and individualized feedback challenges you to reflect on your own learning and apply it in the real world.

Reason #4: With the many financial aid options available, you can earn the graduate degree you may need for the next chapter in your personal or professional life.  

Paying for grad school is a concern for many adults who consider a higher degree. However, there are many options when looking at financial aid for grad school. One of the benefits of NCU’s flexible start dates is that you can take courses on your schedule—and on your budget. NCU offers a variety of tuition assistance, payment plans, and grants.

There are financial benefits to getting a graduate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate dramatically decreases as you attain a graduate degree, while median weekly earnings increase. For example, in 2016, those with a bachelor’s degree had an unemployment rate of 2.7% and a median weekly income of $1,156, while those with a doctoral degree had an unemployment rate of 1.6% and a median weekly income of $1,664.

Reason #5: Put yourself in the driver’s seat of your learning by taking advantage of the latest technology, resources, support and tools you need to succeed.

While the flexibility of an online university is appealing, many adults find the technology intimidating. However, NCU offers a strong support system, including The Commons—a “Facebook-like” area with activity streams for sharing information and curating your academic identity and connections—and a 24/7 IT Help Desk. Alexandra Colvin, currently working on her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, understood that technology intimidation when she enrolled at NCU. “I appreciate the ability to access the Academic Center, IT Help Desk Center, and the Commons,” explained Colvin. With so much support, students need only ask and someone is available to help them with technology concerns.