Whether or not to pursue a graduate education is one of the biggest decisions an individual will make for their future. Regardless of the reason you may choose a graduate education, the first step is being informed about your options. One of the best ways to do so is to attend the UCF College of Graduate Studies 2014 Graduate Fair. The Fair is an open-house style event that allows attendees to meet with program faculty and staff from the university’s nearly 200 graduate programs, review application and admission requirements, and explore financial assistance options for education.

While making your decision, you may want to consider that 7.4 percent of the population ages 18 and older hold a master’s degree and only 1.5 percent have earned a doctorate. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013). According to the article “Good Reasons for Going to Graduate School,” graduate school is a good choice when the graduate degree will provide entry into your desired profession, advance your career, increase your professional options, or satisfy a lifelong passion (Idealist.org).

Current social work graduate student, Morgan Lisby, echoes this sentiment noting that she pursued the MSW degree because her career options with her bachelor’s in Psychology felt too broad. “After exploring the multitude of options that UCF offers for graduate programs, I chose Social Work because of the amount of opportunities it offered for entry into my desired field and for personal growth,” explains Lisby. As she prepares to graduate this summer, she feels appreciative of the experiences graduate study has offered her and credits the opportunities, including strong job prospects, to her enrollment at UCF.

Conversely Norma Caamal, a graduate from the Modeling and Simulation Professional Science Master’s program, felt her graduate education was key for expanding her options in her current field. As the space shuttle program at Kennedy Space Center approached the end, she felt pursuing her master’s would open up additional career opportunities. She feels that, “obtaining the graduate degree helped me reach my goal of finding rewarding employment…and increased my job prospects.”

If you are thinking that graduate school may be a good idea to brighten your future, plan to attend Grad Fair 2014 on September 10, 2014 from 4:30p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the UCF Student Union Pegasus Ballroom.