Listen to Everyone, Listen to Noone
by Jon Cleary 2010
My father once told me to listen to everyone and to trust no one. This is very good advice when making your decisions. Listen to everyone and trust no one. The hardest decision you will probably make this year is; "Where should I go for my Masters Degree?"
There are a number of people out there that you can turn to for advice on this matter but be alert. Be alert to the motives behind their recommendations.
Here I will try to help you identify the Pros and Cons associated with each of the different individuals that may be involved in your decision making process.
Pros: Agents will have a wealth of information for you to consider. They will be able to provide you with information regarding the programs available by different Colleges and Universities. They will be able to provide you with information regarding costs relating to tuition and living expenses for each of the different schools. They should also be able to provide you with the names and contact information of the school representative and other students that have attended.
Cons: They stand to profit from your acceptance by a school. The amount of profit is often significantly different for them from one school to another. Therefore their motivation and enthusiasm from school to school can vary greatly.
Pros: They will have the greatest amount of information with regards to varying degrees and their individual course content.
Cons: The school benefits from your enrollment but this is minimized by the fact that they are required to provide accurate information by their accrediting bodies and are held legally responsible for any information they distribute.
What is a person to do then when making such an important decision? Here is a list of things that I recommend.
1. Gather as much information from everyone on the different schools you are considering.
2. Do you own personal research on such things as; a. School accreditation. b. Employment opportunities in the area. c. Talk with student's current attending. d. Talk with employment counselors for the school. e. Check employment boards (Dice, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.) for jobs in the area you are considering. f. Look at both sides of the coin. (Example; 10% unemployment also mean 90% employment. Which one is largest and will apply to you?
Finally and most importantly trust YOURSELF. You are an intelligent individual capable of conducting research, processing information and finally coming to a determination.
Once you have done all of this comes the hardest part of the entire process. That is, Make your Selection and Take Action. Good Luck in 2010.
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