Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” If you’re torn between a career path or two because one requires further education after a bachelor’s degree, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading for a break down of graduate school and what it takes to get in.
Should I even go to graduate school?
In this competitive day and age, having a graduate degree helps new grads secure high-paying jobs with reputed companies. According to the Harvard Business Review, due to an increasing number of students enrolling in university, the value of an undergraduate degree has depreciated. “In America, one-third of adults are college graduates, a figure that was just 4.6 percent in the 1940s,” the article states.
Another study by Pew Research Center states that high school graduates earn about 62 percent of what those with four-year degrees earn.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the median weekly earnings in 2018 of people who pursued higher education and attained high educational degrees—doctoral and professional degrees—were more than triple those with the lowest level of degrees, less than a high school diploma.
If these figures are to be believed, it’s only logical that going to a graduate school is a wise decision if you want to advance your career. Taking the GRE is the best way to get into a graduate school.
What is the GRE?
The graduate record examination (GRE) is a standardized test used for many graduate and professional schools, including business and law schools, as an admission requirement.
You can use your GRE scores, along with your undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and other qualifications to apply for master’s, MBA, specialized master’s in business, Juris Doctor, and Ph.D. programs across the world.
The test has three main sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Top graduate schools require relatively good scores as an eligibility criterion. Your scores are valid for five years after taking the test.
The test is mostly computer-based and is about three hours and 45 minutes in length. In areas where the computer-delivered test is not available, the test is conducted in a paper-delivered format.
When can you take the GRE?
Students can take the GRE at more than 1,000 test centers across more than 160 countries. In most regions of the world, the computer-delivered test is offered year-round at Prometric test centers. The test is also conducted at additional testing locations outside of the Prometric test center network, but only on specific dates.
Factor in the time taken for your scores to be sent to institutions, which is usually 10–15 days after your test date. So make sure you choose the test dates for the GRE accordingly.
The computer-delivered GRE General Test can be taken once every 21 days, but only up to five times within any rolling 12-month period. Don’t procrastinate to register as the appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, and the slots get filled up quickly.
How to pick a graduate school
If you haven’t already, it’s time to do your research to choose the right school and program for your career. The first step would be to be sure about the industry you have chosen to enter.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into, the job prospects, the career progression, and ensure that your long-term goals and vision align with what the industry would offer you. Talk to different grad students and professionals already working in the industry and figure out the sector.
Next, go through rankings and figure out which institutions would offer the best program and don’t be too picky. Make a list of at least 15-20 schools and have a few back-up options as well.
You also need to look into the financial costs and if any scholarships are available as financial aid is not offered after the undergraduate education.
The geographical location of the school is also a big deciding factor, and you need to figure out if that a particular location is suited to your professional and personal requirements.
We need education to not be another brick in the wall
Getting a job is not essential; having a good career is, and there are no shortcuts to achieve the same. Gone are the days when just being an undergraduate was enough. In today’s competitive world, you have to pursue higher education.
Taking your GRE test and getting a good score will be a significant step in the right career-centric direction for you.
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