Motivations of graduate students to pursue graduate studies

Dr. Josefina S. Esguerra1, Dr. Avelina Garcia1, and Dr. Julita G. Jacaban1
1Faculty, Graduate School University of Baguio, Baguio City, Philippines


Continuing professional development is a significant concern among professionals in the different disciplines. One of the identified professional development activities done by professionals is pursuing graduate degrees. In this regard, there is an apparent need to “push” graduate students to become more engaged so that they expeditiously finish their degree programs on time. The study sought to determine the motivating factors that influence graduate students to pursue professional development through graduate studies and complete their graduate programs on time. The study used a descriptive-survey research method. The quantitative data was sourced through a questionnaire designed based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, while the qualitative data was sourced through an informal interview with the graduate students. The population of the study was composed through the total enumeration of 137 graduate students enrolled at the UB Graduate School during the first semester of school year 20162017. All the graduate programs were included. The respondents ranked the hierarchy of needs, such that self-actualization was the most motivational, followed by safety needs, basic needs and esteem/ego needs (tied), and belonging needs was the least or moderately motivational. In general, the graduate students of the University of Baguio were “moderately” motivated to pursue their graduate studies. The graduate students’ primary motivation to pursue graduate studies hinged on self-realization and job security and the ability to compete in the job arena. Professional growth through engagement in graduate studies dovetails with stability in their profession.

Keywords: motivation, physiological needs, safety and security needs, belonging, self-actualization

February 19, 2020
UB RJ Vol. 43, No. 2 2019