How to write Short Term and Long Term Goals Essay?
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How to write Short Term and Long Term Goals Essay?

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Rahul
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on May 28, 2024 13:09 IST

Feeling lost writing your grad school goals essay? Fear not. This guide unveils how to craft a stellar response. Learn to differentiate short-term (post-graduation) and long-term career aspirations. Discover practical tips like quantifying timelines and focusing on one goal for each category. This roadmap will help you impress admissions committees and secure your dream programme.

Let us discuss one of the most important essay questions: “How to write short-term and long-term goals essay?” Most universities abroad, in their admissions essays, ask the applicant to state his life’s goals. This could be a combined long answer question or two (maybe three) short answer questions. Irrespective of how they frame the question, they ask about both your short-term and long-term goals for the future. Therefore, it is essential to know how to write your short-term and long-term goals essay for graduate school.

Now, let us understand what is meant by long-term and short-term goals that the universities ask for. Short-term goals are your goals/ aspirations or career plans, immediately after the completion of the program that you are applying to. This would mean your current career path, and how you wish to modify your life, after completing the program. The idea is to know what you intend to do/achieve within the next three to five years. Remember, being a CEO of a major Fortune 500 company is not a short-term goal but a long-term goal! Short-term does not mean within the next year. Some students commit this common mistake while writing their goals essays. Some universities require you to write an essay on your short-term goals only. Thus, until and unless specified, short-term goals refer to your immediate career goals upon completion of the program that you are applying for.

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However, the long-term goal refers to what the applicant aspires to achieve in the next 10-15 years. Often, students mistake long-term goals for career aspirations beyond the course, which is not the case. It also does not mean that long-term refers to your retirement plans. Simply put, these are your career aspirations after a decade or so. For instance, setting up your own business, becoming the Lead Partner in a top Consultancy or being a senior-level Executive in a multinational, all qualify as long-term goals. You may also be required to discuss how you plan to achieve your long-term goals in paragraphs.

Things to Remember When Writing your Goals Essays

Here are some things to keep in mind while writing your short-term and long-term goals for graduate school essays:

  1. Quantify the years: It is important to quantify the years while writing your short-term and long-term goals for your graduate school essay. Clarity about the years you wish to put into a certain job/role is advisable as it adds value to your goals essay. It also demonstrates the fact that the goals are feasible and practical.
  2. Provide a better distinction between short and long-term goals: If the short-term and long-term goals questions are separate, then writing the response becomes simpler. In case there is only one question regarding your short and long-term goals, it is essential to demarcate between the two. Ideally, the short-term and long-term goals should be divided into separate paragraphs, and be written in chronological order. First, discuss the short-term, and then the long-term goals.
  3. Do not provide information that has not been sought: The questions also specify a word limit that should not be exceeded. Therefore, if the question refers only to your short-term goals, then limit the response to just that. Applicants tend to talk about what they want to do and end up giving too much information, which is not advisable.
  4. Either/or is not a good strategy: In the short-term and long-term goals for the graduate essay, you should stick to one goal. It is not correct to give more than one goal. Moreover, unless specifically asked for, do not discuss what you would do in case one goal does not materialize. In your essay, you should not sound underconfident or unsure.  
  5. Always write why and how: Most importantly, saying that you wish to be an entrepreneur is not enough. Many questions ask you to answer both why and how in your goals essays. However, you must tell the admission committee what you wish to do, why you want to do it, why you think it would be ideal for you, and how you plan to achieve the same.

Having learnt how to write your short-term and long-term goals essay, the student must also remember that it is very much like a statement of purpose (SOP) – albeit with a specific question and a word limit. The applicant must focus on the question asked on short-term and long-term goals and adhere to the word limit specified by the university.

Also Read

How to Write Short Term and Long Term Goals Essay - FAQs

Does short term and long term goals for graduate essay have a word limit?

Most universities will specify the word limit for their short term and long term goals for graduate essay. The applicant must adhere to the word limit wherever specified by the university.

What is the difference between an SOP and a short term and long term goals for graduate essay?

While an SOP gives a complete and holistic picture of your background, academics, work experience, career goals, and other things, a short term and long term goals for graduate essay will focus only on your future career goals. The essay should not divert from the short term and long term goals.

Can you give more than one goal for the short term and long term goals essay?

You should stick to one goal, otherwise giving too many goals unless the question specifically asks it, may confuse the reader. You may also come across as confused.

Do I need to quantify the years in the short term and long term goals essay?

Even though it is not mandatory, specifying number of years will show more clarity on your part. For instance, saying in the next five years (instead of in the short term) I see myself working in an MNC as a project manager sounds better. 

About the Author
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Written by
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

Rahul Singha is a seasoned editor with Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in overseas education. With over 8 years of domain experience, he has made a significant impact in contributing to the study abroad industry ... Read Full Bio

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