How To Prepare for Graduate School So You Don't Get Out of Hand With Student Loan Debt - Part 4 of 4.

So now you have your savings, advanced education, and pragmatic tools.  Now, the final piece.  The last piece is getting out of your graduate program as fast as you can.  This is a practical and almost obvious recommendation.  In pragmatic terms, one less year means one less year of failing to add to your income and "begin my life."  The most practical suggestion to speed up your departure is to have your dissertation data already collected before entering your graduate program or having access to an established data base.

 

You may have a burning desire to try to blaze a path of research on your own, such as going out of your program's support and collect data all yourself, but this action will only add to your ABD (All But Dissertation) status that brings in very little income because it will add unnecessary delay t earning a full income.  Take what your supervisors have to offer.  Second, many programs require a master's thesis as well as a dissertation, which can complicate your quick timeline for graduation.  However, if you have worked at a mental health facility before beginning a graduate program, you can be proactive and acquire permission by the facility's administration and collect a wide range of data.  I did this and the data I took with me to Chicago helped me quickly finish my thesis, to let me focus on my dissertation.  Last, avoid being too complicated in your statistical analysis.  Here, the problem will not only be the number of subjects needed for sufficient power, but also the number of analyses needed that the more complicated statistical approaches require for a satisfactory design.  I went out of my way to use Path Analyses to test five hypotheses.  In hindsight, three hypotheses would have sufficed, and would have probably been equally good with multiple regression analyses, and could have shaved a few months off my time in my graduate program had I done so.  

 

This recommendation can be best summarized by this: Get into your internship as quickly as possible so you can get licensed and begin your professional career. 

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