It is important to be somewhat hard-nosed about your career choices and to consider the return on your investment in graduate school. You will invest a significant amount of time and money to gain your graduate degree and this needs to make sense from a financial point of view. You will have to ask yourself some hard questions. For instance is it worth spending over $100,000 to get a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in order to get a job that pays $50,000 a year? Are you willing to go to graduate school for 4 years and then complete a major dissertation research project only to find out that you have to take 5 part time teaching positions to barely scrape together enough to live on? Is it worthwhile spending $60000 to get a counseling masters degree, knowing that it will be at least 2 years before your practice will break even? Would you be better off going to law school, working for a corporation, or becoming a dentist? What kind of lifestyle do you want – a 9-5 job with stable hours and benefits, working for yourself in private practice but with no job security? Do you want to get married, start a family, travel? While it is difficult it is important to think through all of these things BEFORE you apply to graduate school. Do your best to make sure that graduate school is something you want to do before you commit your heart, soul, and bank account. You don’t have to be perfectly sure or know exactly what you want to do. But thinking through these questions will make the necessary leap of faith a little less daunting.

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