Graduate School Decision
Risk Paper #1
January 24, 2015
What is risk? It is defined as “any uncertainty that, if it occurs, would have a positive or negative effect on achievement of one or more objectives” (Hillson & Simon, 2012, p. 23). Every decision, whether in the professional realm or personal life, involves an element of risk. It is imperative that we understand that as fact and prepare accordingly. The concept of Risk Management, as used in the discipline of Project Management, can be a valuable tool in planning for and dealing with risks associated with life decisions. It involves planning, assessment and response. One such life decision is ...view middle of the document...
3. Cost of attendance
The third risk identified is the cost. The average tuition cost for a graduate degree is between $30-40k [ (Peterson's Staff, 2014) ]. As discussed in the Time risk paragraph previously, most students are balancing school and family obligations and the cost of attending school often will result in financial impact to the family. It would not be uncommon to expect the cost of attendance to require sacrifices in other areas for the student as well as the family. The cost risk and how it affects someone’s budget is often of primary concern for most people. It is an unacceptable risk if the cost of attendance causes financial hardship specifically to monthly household expenses like housing, utilities and groceries.
Once risks have been identified, it is necessary to rank the risks. There are many factors that contribute to analysis of the risks involved in making a decision to pursue a graduate degree. The risks can be categorized by probability of occurrence as well as whether the impact is positive or negative. This is known as the Double Probability-Impact matrix and is commonly used in Risk Management. This method uses high, medium and low criteria for both impact and probability. In this assessment, the risk of 1 (Need) has been ranked as low impact/low probability because it is an intangible risk. Risk 2 (Time) and risk 3 (Cost) have been ranked as high impact and high probability. Regardless of the method used for ranking risks, the rankings can change depending on one’s perception (or risk tolerance) and the value assigned to that risk.
Identification and ranking of the risks would be a waste of time without the next step of monitoring. In order to ensure monitoring, it is necessary to create a risk register to track all of the identified risks which will include the risk ranking, the response and the current status (See Appendix). Periodic review of the risks is necessary to evaluate if the probability of impact has changed or if the criteria set forth in threshold for tolerance has been reached. Monitoring also allows for revising responses based on new information since the process of...