Is graduate school an automatic next step? For many students it definitely is, but for others gaining further experience is necessary in order to clarify long term goals. The decision to attend graduate school should depend on the student's intended career path and level of commitment to the field rather than a feeling that there are no other options or a desire to postpone career decisions. In some instances an advanced degree will increase marketability while in other instances additional work experience immediately upon completion of an undergraduate degree will be more relevant.
What is your role as a parent? As with other career decisions, to listen and encourage, rather than direct or do the work for them. Refrain from placing pressure to attend graduate or professional school right away. Encourage career research to determine actual education requirements and recommendations, rather than basing decisions on assumptions. Help your student reaffirm his/her own goals and whether an advanced degree is a necessary step. It can be difficult for a student to be successful in graduate school when not self-motivated.
In order to be prepared for graduate school, parents can help by encouraging their student to:
Visit the section on CDC's website Applying to Graduate/Professional School General Information for more information and resources.
Last Updated: 5/15/13