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Why Graduate Education is Good for YOU Reasons for Advancing beyond the BA/B 11/4/2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Graduate Education is Good for YOU Reasons for Advancing beyond the BA/B 11/4/2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Graduate Education is Good for YOU Reasons for Advancing beyond the BA/B 11/4/2013

2 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)

3 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?”).

4 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.

5 Professional degree achelors_masters_doctorate.htm achelors_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.

6 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.

7 Mean Annual Earnings by Level of Education [same source]

8 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

9 For ‘academic/research oriented programs (producing new professors)—what have their student’s achieved? For “professional” programs – accredited? Student achievement? Financial Support? Which program is best?

10 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?

11 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

12 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

13 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 ??

14 THEMATIC ISSUESI 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

15 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?

16 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

17 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?

18 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?

19 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.


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