A bachelor’s degree alone will not suffice for you to scale the corporate ladder. You know it. Your BS or AB diploma will not hold a candle against that of an MBA, MA, or MS. Work insights will help, but continuing education will carry you further.

Now, before you embark on a two-year-or-so adventure to get those prized initials, read the following considerations.

  1. Work experience may not be a requirement, but it is a plus.

If you are a fresh college graduate, do not be in a hurry to enter graduate school. Join the workforce and develop those soft skills that you may not have seriously assimilated in college. Assertiveness, self-confidence, diligence, and persistence are necessary in getting a master’s degree. You also will need to communicate well. If you have not gotten past that awkwardness in dealing with people, you will find graduate school extra grueling.

Immersing yourself in the world of work will uncover the eventual career that you can pursue. You will see which aspect of your work interests you more, brings out your talents, and makes you happy. Choosing a master’s degree then will be a lot easier. It will save you a heartache (and several thousands in pesos) should you jump into graduate school blindfolded.

  1. A stable source of funding is important.

Studying does not come cheap. However, you would not want to burden your parents with a couple more years of tuition fee expenses, hence another upside of working. Take advantage of the educational benefits of your company or the scholarships offered by the university of your choice. UA&P, for its part, has scholarships ready for MA and MS degree takers.

Not entrepreneurial? There are still many ways to rake in funds for those specialized books with a four-digit price tag. It would also help if you keep your lifestyle simple and your expenses at a minimum.

  1. Your comfort zone will be seen-zoned.

Graduate degrees require much more challenging coursework that will push you beyond your personal boundaries. Upon enrolment, get a copy of the syllabus. While you can still squeeze some time, look for the references necessary and start reading. In UA&P, you can browse through the book collection online. Readings are more focused and intense, not to say thicker. At times, talking to your professors may be a challenge too.

Collaboration is also necessary. You will need to reach out to the people around you, whether to help them or to ask for their help. You will have to familiarize yourself with whom to ask in the university. Add them on Facebook or join Viber groups. Grab every opportunity to learn from your professors and classmates.

  1. Getting that master’s degree takes time.

Do not force yourself to finish everything soon, especially if you are working. It is not a race. It is a period of learning, not despairing. Thank God for the little successes, and just do better when you miss. Time management is crucial, but your health and sanity take precedence.

It helps if the school is near your workplace since MA classes are held normally at night after office hours. It eliminates the travel time, which you can spend by taking light snacks, a power nap, or a few more minutes of review. You are not rushed, and keeping to your timetable is more facilitated. It pays to know that there is a university nearby, in one of the central business districts, Ortigas Center, in fact.

  1. Your fit matters.

The graduate degree that you are going to take will influence the way you see the world, the issues around you, and your own beliefs. Find a degree that is relevant to you and a school whose set of values will influence you for the better.

That MBA, MA, or MS requires commitment, but it will open opportunities that you will appreciate for the rest of your life. You will meet people who can become your friends for life. Your researches will bring you to places you would not normally frequent. Your mistakes will lead to laughter and learning, so after all that’s been said, do not forget to have fun.