Written by: Julia DiPalo
There are many paths that someone can take after finishing an undergrad. You could get a graduate certificate, or maybe bridge to a college program to get some hands on experience. Graduate school has never been something I had thought about until this school year. I am still in my first year of university but I am fairly certain that I want to attend grad school. I definitely want to get my Masters and possibly my Ph.D. There are many benefits of going to grad school; there are various scholarships available to graduate students from schools and from the government, often times employers offer a higher amount of money to people with graduate school degrees, and what is better than being an expert in your field?
Most universities in Canada, and even in Ontario, offer graduate programs in many different areas of study. If someone is planning on becoming a teacher after university, a Masters degree is a great thing to have, as it puts you on top of a very tall pile of competitors. Having a Masters degree as a teacher often means a higher per-year income than teachers without one. Graduate school is a great idea when looking into teaching jobs. Getting a master’s degree also opens up the opportunity to teach in a college setting if elementary or high school is not what one is aiming for. Many schools like UOIT, University of Toronto and Trent University offer Masters programs in many different fields.
A Ph.D is A LOT of school but just think about it… after you’ve finished that painful 8-12 years of school, you can now say you are now a doctor in that field. You are an expert in that field, and you are among the most educated people in the world in that discipline. I plan on becoming a professor in my future and I will need to complete my Ph.D. I think the whole aspect of teaching university students something that you feel so passionately about is amazing. Getting to read about and research the things in the world that you find most interesting is also a dream of mine. Finding a job with a doctorate can be much easier. And plus, it looks really cool on a business card, “Dr. Julia-Rose DiPalo”. Cool right?
There are many sites that you can look at if you are thinking about going to grad school. Two that I’ve found particularly useful in finding where programs are offered and what they will consist of are; for Ph.D – http://www.canadian-universities.net/Universities/Programs/Doctorate.html and for both Masters and Ph.D – http://www.universitystudy.ca. I am still in my first year at TrentU Durham and have a long time to think about what I am going to end up doing, but I think that grad school is a really good thing to look into for anyone who is really passionate about their area of study and wants to continue that passion.