In some disciplines, having a graduate degree is a necessity for getting a “career” job. That does not mean you should dive right in immediately after completing your undergrad degree. Just make sure you have a good reason for going. Some of the reasons below are more valid than others, but they are all common reasons for which people attend grad schools.
1. Greater earning power. This is a popular reason why people go to grad school. However, it should not be the only reason, since getting a grad degree is a very serious commitment.
2. Advance your career. A grad degree can open up a wider array of career opportunities: in psychology, social work, healthcare, for example.
3. Career change. Many people are finding their current careers unrewarding. An advanced degree can help transition to another career—whether out of desire or necessity.
4. Enhance your education. Graduate schools can provide opportunities to explore theories you may have about a topic.
5. Get community recognition. If you explore your theories and discover something new, you will get recognition for it.
6. Get international recognition. Carry that recognition further. If your discovery is truly groundbreaking, you may receive international recognition, not to mention awards. Who knows? Maybe you have a Nobel prize within you.
7. Get research opportunities. Even if you do not get to explore your own theories, there are other opportunities to participate in funded research.
8. Upgrade your education. Your knowledge of your field is outdated and you find it difficult to keep up with advancements without following up and getting an advanced degree.
9. Enjoy travel opportunities. Some programs, such as archaeology, require studying abroad for research purposes. For those who like to travel, this is a bonus.
10. Find teaching opportunities. Not everyone is suited to teaching, but for those who are, getting a Ph.D. can lead to a tenured position at a university or college, with a nice salary, a teaching or research assistant to help with workload, consulting opportunities (partly shared with your department), and a nice pension upon retirement.