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Reasons to Go Back to College

Consider these excellent reasons for why you should go back to college and start (or finish) that graduate degree you have always wanted.

Flexible And Distance Learning Are More Common and Accepted

Most reputable universities now offer classes or full degrees online. Night classes or hybrid programs (that are partially online and partially on campus) are also very common, and so there is likely some arrangement that can accommodate your busy schedule.  TTU offers many programs online including our MBA, PSM in Environmental Informatics and PSM in Manufacturing Sustainability, MPS in Healthcare Administration, MS in Computer Science, and MS in Sports Management.

You Want a Promotion

In today’s world, college degrees are simply necessary for many job opportunities, and there might come a time when your current education level prevents you from climbing the corporate ladder any further. For example, if you really want a promotion to a position that requires a college degree, you will need to go back to college in order to advance your career. Many companies are willing to pay partly or in full for the continuing education of their employees.

You Want to Change Careers

Another excellent reason to go back to college is if you want to change careers. Wanting to work in a different field and occupation can be an extremely smart career move that can result in you having a higher income and better job satisfaction. Life’s just too short to be stuck doing something you don’t enjoy. If you really want to pursue your dream, getting the right education to be hired into your new field is essential, as are any transferable skills and experiences you’ve had in your career, because that’s what you’ll have to focus on to catch an employer’s attention.

You Want an Advanced Degree

If the career you have in mind generally requires an advanced degree, then at some point you will have to make the leap to go back to college. This can be very difficult if you’ve been out in the workforce for a while to save up money after graduating with your bachelor’s degree, but if your heart’s set on becoming a doctor or a college professor, you’re going to have to take that plunge eventually. If this is truly the path you want in life, you won’t regret shooting for higher things.

Many Professors are Accommodating

Professors want to see you learn and succeed. So don’t be tepid about going back to college because you’re afraid your life will get in the way of your learning and the college won’t be understanding. Professors are usually willing to grant exceptions and extensions for students who work or have children, so long as you are making an effort and do complete the work. All you have to do is ask. Colleges also have many support programs for graduate students.

Bottom Line

Make no mistake, going back to college is a major decision to make. But in many cases it is the right one, and you have a lot of allies to help you make it through. Between more prevalent convenient learning options, schools and professors being accommodating and companies that want to invest in their employees, it’s a more obtainable goal than ever. So be sure to explore your options and make the best choice for your future.

 Source:  Lizzie Weakley and theCampusCareerCoach.com

What Does it Take to be a Graduate Student?

Graphic of Program Sheet  Find out what it takes to be a graduate student by attending a Graduate Studies Information Session! Each semester we help you get ahead with your application by hosting an event that keeps you in the know about graduate school.  

   This month Graduate Studies representatives and several graduate students will be available to talk to you, one on one, about available programs, application processes, financial assistance, and overall admission. You’ll also find out how long it takes to get a a degree and what GPA may be required.

   Two sessions will be available: March 30th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and another will be hosted at 3 p.m.. The sessions will take place in Johnson Hall Auditorium, remember, snacks and prizes will be available during the session!

   Can’t attend a session, no problem! Our office is always open to perspective students who have questions about their future career as a graduate student. Our office is in Derryberry Hall 306 or you can call us at 931-372-3233!

Being a Tennessee Tech Graduate Student: Shree Krishna Dangal

In part three of our series “Being a Tennessee Tech Graduate Student,” Shree Krishna Dangal, a recent MBA graduate from Nepal, provides his perspective.

The dream that I nurtured during my undergraduate study has grown along with me and I always hoped to see it turn into reality someday. Therefore, in order to comprehend myshree-krishna-dangal-certificate dream of becoming a successful team leader, I intend to pursue the MBA degree, realizing that my career goals of leading teams would be best facilitated Human Resources specialization. Besides, I always wanted to learn skills which would place me in an international corporation allowing me to work and live abroad.

The realization did not come easily, but the road I have taken makes me more certain that joining a business school is the right decision, and College of Business at Tennessee Technological University (Tennessee Tech) is undoubtedly the right school for me.

Tennessee Technological University consists of people from around the globe. The feature that attracted me to College of Business the most is the college was its accredited by AACSB International. Based on the quality of programs and survey feedback from students, the college has been included in Peterson’s Publication of Best 300 Business Schools, which also increased my enthusiasm to apply here. Its dynamic curriculum, promising and engaged faculty, and international associations make it the ideal environment for me to develop the management and leadership skills required to lead an international company.

Above all, the positive response I received from former MBA Director Amanda Brown heightened my aspirations regarding the possibility of a Graduate Assistantship at the University. Fortunately, I was able to get an assistantship and currently I have been working at College of Graduate Studies supporting marketing efforts. Tennessee Tech has been a remarkable place to develop my interpersonal skills and prepare myself for my professional career. Initially, it was tough for me because the education system was really different from that of my home country Nepal. However, this did not bothered me at all for my growth because of continuous support of my supervisors, faculty, and people around college of business and university. I am very happy to have attended graduate school at Tennessee Tech.

Check out this video on Graduate Assistantship possibilities at Tennessee Tech, featuring me!

Wings Up!

Shree Krishna Dangal, MBA ’16




Being a Tennessee Tech Graduate Student: John D. Stites

The series “Being a Graduate Student at Tennessee Tech,” is designed to give you insight into the perspectives of our diverse graduate student body. The second installment of our series introduces you to Mr. John D. Stites of Cookeville, TN. Mr. Stites has served as jstitesManaging Director of XI Investments, one of the largest commercial and industrial real estate developers in the Upper Cumberland Region of Middle Tennessee, CEO of J&S Construction Company, Inc. for over 40 years, and as Director of Real Estate Processes for the State of Tennessee. He is a prime example of the change going on in education and career advancement. Those who used to be called non-traditional students are rapidly becoming typical.  So, what are the benefits of going back to graduate school for working professionals?

Check out the following video and hear how such an accomplished professional finds value in a graduate education at Tennessee Tech.

Graduate Studies – Benefits for Working Professionals (Video: Vimeo.com)

Get information about Tennessee Tech’s graduate programs.




Being a Tennessee Tech Graduate Student: Amanda Ellis

What’s it like to be a graduate student at Tennessee Tech?  We’re exploring that from the student perspective.  We hope you enjoy this and the forthcoming series of posts on “Being a Tennessee Tech Graduate Student.”

Tell us a little about yourself… Who are you?


My name is Amanda Rae Ellis, and I am a full-time employee at TTU’s iCube and a full-time student in the Exceptional Learning Ph.D. program. I’m a virtual reality producer, writer, gamer, singer, reader, and overall nerd.

What was your process for deciding to apply for graduate school? Talk about any anxiety, issues you had, etc.

I believe there was a plan in place since my junior year of college to get me into graduate school, driven by my mentor Dr. Julie Baker. She planted the original “why don’t you get a graduate degree” seed in my head, and after I graduated and left campus, she was the one to help me get a job back here. When I did start working for Tech, I was worried about starting classes, that it would cut into my free time since I would still be working full time. After a couple of semesters, I applied to the program. I realized I could improve my current job by continuing my education in a related field, so that is what is motivating me to graduate!

To how many schools did you apply?

Tech was the only school I applied to.

How was the GRE? Did you use preparatory services?

Since I hadn’t had math in quite a long while, I was nervous about passing it. I studied with a friend taking it at the same time, which helped because it made me feel like we were in it together. We marked problematic questions and asked another friend to talk us through the problems. It was a team effort, highly supported by friends, and after the exam we both had passing grades to get into our programs. It was a huge relief.

Tell us about the program you selected. Why did you select your program?  What are your career aspirations?

I selected the Ph.D. in Exceptional Learning with a concentration in literacy because I want to use this opportunity to research virtual reality as a new way of communicating, especially as it can be applied to the classroom. At iCube, we’re making simulations mainly for education, and as someone who is involved in most of those projects, I wanted to make sure we were making something usable and effective. In the future, I would love to continue working at iCube as a “virtual reality producer” while potentially teaching a class at Tech for pre-service teachers on how to utilize videogames in the classroom.

What bits of advice would you give to someone thinking about graduate school?

Do it! It’s a little overwhelming at first, but it’s expected. Everyone is overwhelmed, no one really knows 100% what they’re doing at the beginning, but you have peers further along in the program to help you through it and, hopefully, amazing advisors like those in the College of Education. Your mentors want to see you succeed, so don’t let the fear of failing stop you from trying. Every semester you get through gives you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, and I can only imagine graduating will be one of the highlights of our lives.

What are your classes like? How hard are they really?

My first few classes were potentially a little more difficult than what the average doctorate student experiences because I did not start the program with a Master’s degree. Research, literature reviews, and conflicting opinions were relatively new to me. After a couple of courses I felt more comfortable with the first two, but I still struggle with the third, almost in a good way. It’s exciting to be challenged on what you think, but it’s also slightly terrifying if you’re not used to it. I found it difficult to speak in class sometimes because I was second guessing myself in what I thought and didn’t want to be questioned about what I shared. After a while you realize the freedom in having an opinion and still be respected by your peers, because literally everyone has conflicting thoughts. No two people will believe the exact same thing, meaning that everyone is always “right” and always “wrong” in a way. The faster you figure that out, the easier the courses will be.

One hears a lot about Tennessee Tech’s caring and supportive community. What’s your experience?

I hope every other college on campus has the same support I receive in the College of Education. I would have dropped out a thousand times already (and I’m just now finishing up my first year) if it wasn’t for the encouraging, “you can do it” feedback I received every time I felt overwhelmed. They make sure I have everything I need, make sure I’m signing up for what I need to take, and spend, literally, hours helping me with a problem if I need it. My iCube office is also supportive of my educational pursuits, encouraging me to keep going through the program for my own personal benefit and the future implications it could mean for the office having someone with my background work on our virtual reality projects. I would say I have more caring people in my life than I ever had before joining the program, or at least more actively and outwardly caring people. That’s something they don’t tell you you’ll get, but I don’t see how anyone would make it through grad school if it wasn’t true.



Why Tennessee Tech?

Why Tennessee Tech for Graduate Studies?

Could you use a $3000 scholarship this fall?

The Tennessee Labor Management Foundation (TLMF) Scholarship Program announces a $3000 scholarship to be awarded at the Tennessee Labor-Management Summer Conference in Nashville.

Learn more and apply at http://www.tlmf.us/scholarships.html




Is Graduate School Worth it?

Graduate school can be expensive and there are many things to consider when determining whether or not it’s worth it. This YouTube video from U.S. News – Education, highlights some important things to consider.


Tennessee Tech Graduate Studies Blog

Welcome to the Tennessee Tech Graduate Studies Blog.  Along with other Tennessee Tech University Blogs, we provide content and information for the Tennessee Tech community.  This blog focuses on graduate students and will include video, photos and other content such as short and long posts about and from our students. We’ll handle topics like: What’s a typical day like? What are some research and teaching opportunities? How is a graduate education funded?  What does one do for fun in Cookeville, TN and the Upper Cumberland region?  So whether you’re a current, past or future graduate student, this blog is for you.

Learn more about graduate education at Tennessee Tech.