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By Robert L. Peters

A professor's recommendation on how you can come to a decision no matter if to visit grad tuition, tips to get accredited, and the way to do your top as soon as you're there.

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Additional resources for Getting What you Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Master's or Ph.D.

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For master's students, the importance of the adviser will differ from program to program, and therefore you need to weigh the importance of making prior contact with advisers accordingly. D. programs: even though they don't last as long, they may still include a substantial thesis requiring close work with a professor whose approval and guidance will be critical for success. In such cases, a bad choice can easily add an extra year to your stay in school. At the other extreme, for a master's program based largely on course work that doesn't require a thesis at all, the advising professor may be no more important than was your undergraduate adviser.

Use such information to make a realistic assessment of whether it is worth spending four to eight years of your life at a subsistence level for a shot at what jobs are available. - DO YOU NEED A MASTER'S? s—they don't know what else to do and have blind faith that a degree will advance their career. , the time lost may seem insignificant, but two or three years is still a long period. A two-year master's at a private university can cost you $15,000 to $25,000, not counting living expenses, and, given that university funding of master's students is very low, you will be paying for most of this yourself, either directly or through loans.

Moreover, during this time you will miss out on career experience. Unfortunately, there is little systematized data to help master's students find out how they will fare in the job market. But you can do the necessary research yourself by interviewing people who hold jobs in the field in which you are interested. D. program. Call departments you are interested in and ask them for the names of l8 ■ GETTING WHAT YOU CAME FOR recent graduates who can tell you about their experiences getting jobs. Call firms you are interested in working for and ask to speak with people in appropriate positions.

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