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Obtaining a master’s degree not only advances a career, but is also estimated to increase earnings by 50 percent over one’s working life, according to Greg Wypiszynski, director of graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, UW Oshkosh undergraduates will get the chance to learn more about earning their master’s degree at GradSchool Fest. The event will take place in Reeve Memorial Union ballroom A from 4 to 6 p.m. and will inform students about UW Oshkosh’s graduate programs.

“A master’s degree further hones a person’s knowledge, enhances critical thinking, improves decision-making skills and builds professional networks,” Wypiszynski said.

Although it is not required to go on and earn a master’s degree, it is strongly suggested in some fields. According to Wypiszynski, some of the most common fields that look for master’s degrees are in teaching, public administration, social work, organizational psychology and nursing.

According to Wypiszynski it is never too early, or too late, to start thinking about grad school and be informed about the options.

“Assuming the student goes on to grad school right after their undergraduate program, the start of junior year is ideal,” Wypiszynski said. “If a student waits until later in their career, they should begin exploring one to two years from when they want to begin the program.”

Current UW Oshkosh grad student, Jen Kaiser, didn’t decide to go on to graduate school until she had been working in the field for seven or eight years.

“I realized that I could only move laterally within my field,” Kaiser said. “I wanted more than that. The type of career that matched my passion, drive and personal goals required a graduate degree.”

Kaiser is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration and said one of the main reasons she chose UW Oshkosh is that the program is geared toward working professionals. She enjoys being able to continue working in the field and earning an income to support her family, while attending classes on the weekends.

Whether considering graduate school now or for the future, GradSchool Fest will help provide information about programs, admissions criteria, financial aid and much more. Graduate faculty, staff and other representatives will be available to answer any questions during the event.

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