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Career Exploration & Research

Resources to help students identify a career, select a major, identify colleges and universities, and find financial assistance.


  • What are my long-range and short-range career goals? Career counselors can help you identify these goals if they are unclear.
  • Is graduate school necessary for me to achieve these goals?
  • In my field, is it easier to attend graduate school directly after receiving my undergraduate degree, or would I benefit from a couple of years of work experience?
  • What is the cost of graduate school – direct (tuition) and indirect (loss of possible earnings)?
  • At present, do I have other needs that conflict with pursuing a graduate degree?
  • Will my job and salary prospects be enhanced by graduate studies?
  • Are there employers who would assist in paying for graduate school?

Graduate School Overview Sites

Writing the Essay or Personal Statement

Why Should I NOT Apply to Graduate School?

  • Uncertainty about my career goals or career direction
  • Fear that I will not be able to find a job 
  • Desire to get rich quick 
  • I am burned out with school and studying 
  • I can’t sacrifice the time 
  • Other obligations or priorities in my life will keep me from being able to invest in my graduate studies


Thank you to the St. Mary's University Career & Professional Development Center, for granting permission to adapt information from their handout, Selecting & Applying to Graduate School, for this Guide.