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Next Steps After Completing an Undergraduate Degree

written by: vrodbaz•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 9/29/2010

After you have completed your undergraduate degree, you may wonder if you should pursue your master's degree or work full time. You have plenty of opportunities and options available to you. Let's discuss what these options are and why it is important to plan ahead.

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    Why Educational Planning is Important

    Congratulations! You have done it. You graduated from college with your undergraduate degree. Many people plan to pursue their education further and are accepted into a graduate program. Other graduates join the increasingly competitive workforce to pursue fulfilling careers. These are just a few of the options available to recent graduates. Continue reading to learn more about alternatives after you have completed your undergraduate degree.

    One of the most satisfying lifetime accomplishments is obtaining a higher educational degree. However, sometimes a degree is not enough to get you where you want to be in life. This is why it is important to have a plan either before or while you attend college. This way you know what you want to do when you graduate. A well-thought out plan also helps to put your career and academic goals in perspective.

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    A Variety of Careers Await You Once You Have Completed an Undergraduate Degree

    For students interested in working right away, or for those who know exactly what career they want to pursue, a bachelor’s degree qualifies one for a variety of positions. Many students decide to work find full-time, while other students decide to work part time, and pursue their graduate degree.

    It all depends on what your career goals are; however, you should also keep in mind, the more education you obtain, the more career opportunities you have. More career opportunities mean more experience and more chances to explore interests.

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    Why You Should think about Attending Graduate School

    A bachelor’s degree used to be the degree everyone wanted to attain; however, in today’s world, a master’s degree has replaced the BA or BS degree in terms of prestige and meeting particular employment standards. Many people go back to school and obtain a higher educational degree; therefore, in order to separate yourself from others competing for the same jobs, a higher degree can be the determining factor.

    Another benefit of attaining a graduate degree includes an increase in pay. This is especially true if you are accepted into a specialized master’s program. Often, a master’s degree prepares you to become a polished professional in your field. With the level of expertise and knowledge, as well as training you obtain during graduate school, you know exactly what your ideal career entails.

    Many colleges and universities offer online courses and programs that you can take in the comfort of your own home, so attending school is more convenient than ever. Women who have families and children they take care of daily can find time to attend online courses. Many online courses offer students a flexible schedule, and students can complete tests and homework assignments on their own time.

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    Think About Relocating to Another State

    Let’s face it; the economy isn’t exactly what it used to be. Even recent graduates may have a hard time finding any full-time jobs; however, it may also depend on where you live in the United States.

    Often there are more career opportunities for recent graduates in other parts of the U.S. If you are open to moving to another state, you may want to consider this option.

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    Travel Around the World

    If you are not strapped for cash, and have no other immediate responsibilities, you may want to consider traveling around the world. Many careers can be done online and from your own computer, so why not take your work with you and explore many different foreign places and sites?

    There are many things you can learn about life when you travel, and if this is something you have always wanted to do, then there is no better time than the present.

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    Volunteer Your Time

    Sometimes, it can be frustrating when you complete job searches day after day and no one responds. Why not learn how to make the best of things and do something good for the community and yourself? Volunteer your time. There are many social service industries, pet shelters, or other organizations that need volunteers.

    Dedicate at least 5-10 hours a week at one of these organizations, and see how you can make a difference. Volunteering helps you stay active, help others, and learn new skills along the way. Who knows, there may even be a job opening on down the line.

    As you can see, after you have completed your undergraduate degree, you have endless possibilities to pursue. Whether you are interested in obtaining employment, attending graduate school, relocating to another state, traveling around the world, or volunteering at a specific organization, these options are all possible and can help you achieve your career, educational, life and academic goals.