5 Traits to Help You Be Successful in Graduate School and Beyond

If you’re thinking about enhancing your skills and increasing your chances of landing a better job, a graduate degree may be the right choice for you. A graduate degree can help a job candidate be more competitive when applying for a top position in a preferred field. Going back to school and working on graduate level coursework can be a challenge. It can also be challenging if you’re working full-time while pursuing advanced study. Here are five top character traits that can help you be more successful while pursuing a graduate degree.

1. Perseverance
One of the top traits that can lead to academic success with tough coursework is perseverance. While many graduate students have a high level of natural knowledge, it’s the ability to work hard and not give up that helps the top students find ultimate success. Developing perseverance can be time-consuming and difficult, but it can more than pay off once you earn your degree and land a new, better job in your industry. Companies expect their workers to have this trait as well.

2. Depth of Knowledge
Next, graduate students should also have a high level of knowledge in their field of study. Many graduate students go back to school to advance their knowledge in a field of previous study, such as an undergraduate major. Other graduate students may have a background of work experience in their field of graduate study. Then, once an employee is equipped with additional depth of knowledge about their field, they can pursue some of the top job opportunities. Read more about how this situation presents itself for those pursuing the highest positions in public policy.

3. Leadership Qualities
An effective graduate student is also equipped with leadership qualities. Most graduate students have aspirations to be leaders in their industries, and a challenging graduate course of study can help them get closer to a management role. At NEC, students learn the basics about how to be an effective leader for their future career goals.

4. Effective Communication
Being an effective communicator is another predictor of success in graduate school. Students who work at the highest levels must be skilled at communicating in writing. Many university programs are starting to add more writing requirements at the graduate level. Colleges are getting the message from top employers that excellent written communication skills are necessary for success in the workplace.

5. Commitment to Teamwork
Lastly, graduate students should also be capable when working with a team. Collaborating on group projects is something that is commonplace in many graduate college courses. The reason for this is that in the workplace, companies expect their staff to collaborate effectively. That means you must be able to navigate the problems that sometimes come up with a dysfunctional group environment. The most successful graduate students are able to solve problems with the group dynamic and motivate their team to work better together, just like in a workplace setting.

Being a successful graduate student is the first step to having the career that is the best fit for you. Devoting your time and energy to developing top traits of success can help you get closer to your ultimate professional goals.


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