If you’ve finished one degree and are considering another, you’ve got lots of questions to ask yourself.
Among them is whether you should get your next degree from the same institution. There are pros and cons to staying or switching—but the decision largely hinges on your goals and the prevailing viewpoints of people who already work in the field you’d like to enter. Here, some experts outline the questions you should ask as you contemplate your options.
1. Do You Like Change Generally?
Moving to a new school can mean plunging into a new environment, navigating new processes, and connecting with new faculty. For some people, that’s exhilarating. But for others, it adds a layer of complexity to the learning process—and may slow you down as you learn the ropes and roles. “If you’ve found an education environment that works for you, it might make sense to continue in that environment,” says Sharon Balke, manager of Capella University’s Career Center.
2. How Is Your School Regarded By Experts in Your Chosen Field?
Some schools are known for particular degree programs. For example, if you aspire to be among the top-tier people in a niche industry, it certainly helps to go to same school that the small circle of people who run the industry attended—whether or not you got your original degree there.
More important, though, is that you choose a school where you can do your best work and that will help you earn a degree that’s respected by your future peers. Before you enroll, talk to experts in the field and see what they recommend. Are you getting the right degree? Does it matter if the school is online or traditional? And how well regarded is the institution you’re considering? “It’s important to speak to established professionals to understand how that degree will be viewed,” Balke says. “You don’t want to end up with a degree from an institution that isn’t respected in your field.”
3. Will Prospective Employers Care?
If you’re hoping your degrees will give you an advantage in the working world, you probably want to know if having two diplomas from the same school will give you any sort of advantage or disadvantage. In most cases, says Balke, employers are more likely to be interested in your education, where you got your degrees, and your work experience—rather than the fact that more than one degree came from the same institution.
“Part of my job at Capella involves hiring,” Balke says. “I interview lots of people and review both CVs and resumes. Whether candidates got more than one degree at the same school is not an important factor in my decision-making. I’m more interested in what they can demonstrate to me about their passions, interests, and what they know about the industry.”
The Career Center’s mission is to empower students and alumni to proactively manage their careers and make meaningful, and effective, career decisions.