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Help with what grad program I should be getting ready for...

Jaime Iwatsuru

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I am needing to pin down a graduate degree but I feel I need more information from people that have completed or are currently in the graduate programs that I am interested in: Masters in Public Administration, Speech Therapy, or Occupational Therapy. Ultimately I want a degree were I can make a difference, and have heard so many bad things about social work that I though MPA would allow me to do many things with government and non-profits. Speech Therapy is another one that I would enjoy- working with kids, the schedule, the decent salary, and for the most parts many options for places to work. Occupational Therapy is something I have enjoyed learning about and looking into- I would like to work with children and Occupational Therapist make more than Special Education Teachers, I also would rather work with one kid at a time instead of the load of a class. I am almost done with my undergrad and need to narrow my focus and if you have been in one of these degrees or currently are in one of these degrees and can offer some detailed insight into that field it would be very helpful...

Thank you

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  • 1 month later...

I was in your same boat a few years ago. I am currently waiting to be accepted into MS/MA SLP programs.

I am not sure what you should choose, but if I had to do the process over again, here's what I wish I would have known:

- How competitive it is to get into each program. I know this seems short-sighted, but this is my second year applying to programs and I still may not get into school. It would mean I've dropped over $10k on pre-req classes without having a degree to show for it. Just something to think about.

- Job market once you get out. SLPs are in-demand across the country. Not sure about the other fields, but I imagine that you're probably set no matter which one you choose.

- Cost of programs. I have friends who got out of Masters programs only to find out that they can't afford their student loans. They're having to rely on family or get second jobs instead of diving head-first into their new careers.

Don't know if I've helped at all, but those are the things on which I had better educated myself before going back to school. **It would not have changed my decision to pursue Speech-Language Pathology, but I would have avoided a lot of frustration and disappointment discovering that it's not as easy as it used to be.

Good luck!

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- Job market once you get out. SLPs are in-demand across the country. Not sure about the other fields, but I imagine that you're probably set no matter which one you choose.

This is partially true. School SLPs are in demand in most parts of the country. So if that's what you want to get into then, yes, this is a pro for SLP. However, many people think they can get into private practices, hospital jobs, etc. just as easily as school jobs and that is not the case, especially for your clinical fellowship year. Just something to consider.

I'm applying to SLP programs right now as well. I love everything about the field but I would recommend that you not jump into it unless it's something you have a true passion for. The grad programs are incredibly difficult to get into these days, and grad school is extremely intense and time-consuming if you DO manage to get in somewhere. If it's not something you're truly passionate about, I don't think it would be worth the time, money, and stress.

What is your bachelor's degree in? Keep in mind for the vast majority of SLP programs, you'll need to take the pre-reqs or apply to 3-year programs if your undergrad was not in SLHS/ComDis.

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