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Guide to Higher Education

Whether you’re fresh out of college or further along in your career, you may find yourself wondering whether to continue your education with a graduate degree. In your decision making, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons alongside your own personal and professional goals. Here are six reasons why you might want to take that next educational step:

Increasing your earning potential

In general, studies show those with a graduate’s degree typically enjoy higher earning potential compared to those who hold a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree or a high school diploma. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers whose highest level of education was a professional degree in 2022 had median weekly earnings of $2080—over $600 more than those who only held a bachelor’s degree.

Competitive Advantage

In competitive job markets, a graduate degree can set you apart from the rest. Many leadership and senior roles in organizations often prefer candidates with advanced degrees. Earning a graduate degree can also position you for promotions; some companies even offer financial assistance or tuition reimbursement programs to employees who are interested in furthering their education.

Networking Opportunities

Graduate programs provide opportunities to build relationships with professors, fellow students and industry professionals who can lead to collaborations, job referrals and valuable insights within your field. Many universities also have robust alumni networks that can provide ongoing support and connections throughout your career.

Specialized Expertise

Graduate programs often dive deeply into a specific field or discipline, providing a comprehensive understanding of theories and practices within that area. Many programs also include research components, which allow students to get hands-on learning experience and contribute to the knowledge base of their field. This level of expertise can be invaluable in professions that demand specialized knowledge, such as engineering, medicine or scientific research.

Career Change

For those looking to make a change in their career, earning a graduate degree can equip them with specialized skills required in their desired next field. For example, consider someone who has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and later aspires to become a teacher. They might want to pursue a Master of Science in Teaching (MST) or a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Science Education

Personal Satisfaction

Graduate programs are academically rigorous and intellectually challenging. They push individuals to expand their knowledge, think critically and engage with complex ideas. For many, achieving a graduate’s degree can be a source of personal pride, a symbol of one’s intellectual accomplishment and dedication to continuous learning.

For many, higher education is a pathway to reaching new heights and turning aspirations into reality. We’ve created a guide to help you take that next big step.

Click here to view the guide.

Resource Guide

Landmark College

Putney, VT

Landmark College is for students who learn differently, from dyslexia and other learning disabilities to ADHD, autism and executive function challenges. It offers on-campus and online degrees, summer programs and professional development for educators.

landmark.edu; 802-387-6718; @landmarkcollege

Moravian University

Bethlehem, PA

Moravian University offers students a private education they will not find anywhere else: personal attention and preparation for life with a record of success longer than our nation’s history. Located in historic Bethlehem, PA, Moravian offers small class sizes, expansive academics and NCAA athletics in a quintessential college town.

moravian.edu; 610-861-1320; @moravianuniversity

Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, PA

From its campuses in Philadelphia to its global connections, Thomas Jefferson University delivers exceptional value for 21st-century students with excellence in architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion & textiles, health, medicine, nursing, science and social science.

jefferson.edu; 215-951-2800; @jeffersonuniv

West Chester University

West Chester, PA

West Chester University offers 180 plus undergraduate and graduate programs including certificates, masters, doctoral and online options. WCU is nationally ranked and accredited and offers competitive tuition rates. Choose WCU and pursue your passion.

wcupa.edu/grad; 610-436-2943; WCUofPA

Lycoming College

Williamsport, PA

Lycoming College is a place where students think deeply and act boldly in preparation for careers of significance and a life of meaning. Its cutting-edge programs, experiential learning and faculty mentors create a distinctive education.

lycoming.edu; 570-321-4026; @lycomingcollege