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Grad school is a major commitment. From the grueling applications and preparation exams to the financial burden and return to long hours spent studying and writing papers, there is a lot to think about. If you return at the right time, the payoff of new career possibilities and higher salary makes it all worthwhile. Here are some signs to look for that will let you know you are ready to make the leap.


1. You Like Your Field…But You Need More

Do you enjoy what you do but feel you have hit a wall? Perhaps you are perpetually hitting your head on that glass ceiling of salary. Maybe you want more responsibilities. You have a thirst for more knowledge about your field that is unfulfilled by applying your undergraduate expertise to your current role. You are ready for a new academic challenge that will propel you to new career heights.


2. You Do Not Like Your Field

On the flip side, perhaps you fall into the camp of people who dread Monday mornings and yearn for Friday afternoons. You feel unfulfilled by your entire field and find yourself daydreaming during work hours about the types of subjects you wish you had majored in instead. Fortunately, this is more of a sign that you are ready for grad school than a missed opportunity. Many graduate programs accept wide varieties of bachelor’s degrees or require only an additional course or two that you can take at a community college.


3. You are Not JUST Looking for a Way Out

One of the biggest mistakes people make is rushing into grad school just because they want a quick fix for a bigger problem. Some find themselves longing for the greater flexibility of the student life. Others are desperate for a career switch but enter grad school before knowing the right direction. Still, others erroneously believe they will find deeper fulfillment in their current field if they study it further. If you do not fit into any of these categories, you have reached the point where you are ready to consider grad school.


At the right point in your career, a graduate degree will open doors that nothing else can. It is a huge decision and an even more significant commitment, but there are ways to determine if it is the right one for you. Take a moment out of your day to look for these signs that you are either ready for grad school or need a little more time.