Buyer Beware: 4 Reasons Why You Should Re-Think Grad School

It probably crosses every recent grad’s mind: to go to grad school or to start the job search. Now that you’ve graduated and realized that university or college was a cozy bubble free from stressful job searching, financial responsibility and all those real-life post-grad shockers, it is easy to think that going to grad school is the easy way out. Think again!

Postponing the job search should not be in your list of reasons why to attend grad school. Think finding a job will be tough? Unless you’re a certified genius, speed-reader and expert writer, grad school is very tough work, time consuming and far beyond your undergrad experience.

If the following 4 items are on your list of reasons to go to grad school, it might be time to re-think your education plans:

  1. You want to make more money
  2. More money is not guaranteed. Undertaking a Master’s of Business Administration? You are certainly in the more money zone and can generally expect to make more.

    According to the U.S. census, people with professional degrees in areas such as law, business or medicine are likely to make twice as much money as someone with a bachelor’s degree in their life time.

    From my experience, it’s not the business or economics grads who are unsure of where to take their career after their undergraduate degree. It’s the English, Film, Communications and Arts grads who are more likely to consider a graduate degree to post-pone their career. Reality is that a graduate degree focusing on Shakespeare or Russian history isn’t guaranteed to make you more money or make you more appealing to employers in the same way an MBA or law degree will. In addition, consider the costs of grad school, which can sometimes be staggering as highlighted in this video:

    On another note, more money doesn’t guarantee happiness. Check out this study showing that once a household reaches a $75,000 income, extra income doesn’t affect emotional well-being.

  3. You think it will improve your resume.
  4. Think again. Education and experience are two peas in a pod. One without the other isn’t much use in many career fields. An employer needs to see more than an undergraduate and graduate degree on a resume.

  5. You think you will be better qualified.
  6. The opposite might be more likely to be true. If you don’t have a concrete idea of how your graduate degree is going to advance your career plans (having career plans is key!), you might end up with a big price tag and a graduate degree that makes you less desirable to employers.

  7. It’ll be just like your undergrad.
  8. Socializing, parties, extra-cirriculars, late starts and free time, right? Not likely. Grad school is tough business! You won’t be able to knock out that essay the night before and you will read like you never have before. Sure, there isn’t too much class time, but you’ll be putting in more (probably many more) hours than a full-time job.

So why should you go to grad school?

If you have clear career goals, a financial plan, a genuine interest in your area of study and awareness of how a grad degree fits into the career field you want to work in. If you really aren’t ready to start the career search on  your own, consider a post-grad college education program which is likely to involve an internship, co-op and career search component.
Are you considering graduate school? Are you now in and have you been in a graduate program? Tell us about your experience below!

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