Grad School or Job?
Going to graduate school is a tremendous investment of time, energy and financial resources. Take time to think about WHY you want to attend graduate school.
Pre-Med or Pre-Law? Contact an Advisor:
Pre-Law Advisor: Eric Smaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Health Advisor: James Zimmerman, email@example.com
Good Reasons to Go to Graduate School:
- An advanced degree is required for entrance into your chosen field.
- You are willing to complete additional coursework or gain work experience to be competitive.
- You have researched the profession and there is a strong match between your skills, interests, values and what the program specifics.
- You have a strong desire for advanced studies, regardless of your specific career goal.
- You want to teach at the college level or conduct research.
- Obtaining an advanced degree will increase your earning potential.
Consider Alternatives to Graduate School If..
- You hope to avoid or delay your job search.
- You are still uncertain about your careerdirection.
Schedule an appointment with a counselor in the Center for Career & Life Planning to discuss your options. Read Taking a Year Off to learn about alternatives to immediately entering graduate school.
Taking a Year Off
Consider the value of work experience prior to graduate school. Related work experience will add to your credentials and may strengthen your application for more competitive graduate programs. Work experience may also help you to identify related career paths previously unfamiliar to you. This exposure may cause you to redirect your interests and apply to programs oher than those you originally considered.
Consider the financial impact of graduate school. Annual tuition ranges $30-40,000 for a 2-7 year period - not including books, supplies, and transportation. Many employers value continuing education and assist employees in their pursuit of advanced degrees on a part-time basis.
What are alternatives to graduate school?
- Consider volunteering or gaining experience through a GAP YEAR experience.
- Take a self-assessment like FOCUS2 to identify careers that match your interests, values, and skills.
- Review the resources on the Job Search webpage
- Consider pursuing certifications in your field to increase your competitive advantage.
Remember most people average 5-10 careers over the course of a lifetime. You have many good fit options from which to choose. And it is interesting to think that many of the job options in the next 10 years do not even exist yet.
Ready for Graduate School?
The decision to attend graduate school is a personal one. Give this decision careful thought, taking time to consider the following questions:
- What are my career goals?
- How will an advanced degree help me attain these goals? Is an advanced degree required for my career field?
- Do I really enjoy this topic that I plan to study for the next two to seven years?
- Have I discussed my plans with an advisor and a career counselor?
- Do I have the academic stamina to continue in my pursuits or do I need time to re-energize?
- Do I have specific experience and/or knowledge in this field of study?
- Do I have the grades and test scores necessary for admittance into the program of my choice?
- Will full-time work experience enhance my credentials for graduate school admittance?
- Do I have the financial resources to attend graduate school?