DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been going back and forth with the idea of attending graduate school to receive my master’s degree. There are many reasons for my waffling: I don’t have enough money to attend, so I would need to receive some sort of scholarship or loan, and I am not sure what graduate program I want to do. Another reason I am conflicted about the idea is the timing of it. Should I be attending graduate school immediately after I received my undergraduate degree, or work for a couple of years to gain experience and then go back to school to earn my master’s? What do you think is most beneficial or looks best to a prospective employer? -- Master's Degree Debate, Philadelphia
DEAR MASTER’S DEGREE DEBATE: Timing for graduate school is an important decision that prompts many questions. Think about what you want to do for your career. Ask yourself what your career interests are and what steps you need to take to get there. This includes both the education track and the employment track. Can you find a job in your area of interest so that you can gain experience as you earn money? Can you look around for scholarships for your advanced degree or find a program that is relatively affordable? Could you work as a teacher's assistant to offset the costs? Exhaust your options, and write them on a list to compare working first versus going to school immediately. Evaluate your research to decide what your heart and gut tell you to do.