Consider other options before committing to graduate school

November 14, 2017

Lindsey O’Reilly

loreilly@uccs.edu

    Thinking about life after college is intimidating.

    Multiple factors for a college graduate, like where they’ll live, what job they’ll have and how they’ll pay those student loans, are unknown.

      Many students choose to attend graduate school after their traditional four years. In fact, attending graduate school seems to be more encouraged in today’s view of academics.

    But graduate school is not the right path for everyone and may not be the best option for certain career paths.   

    Graduate school is another great academic commitment. Some careers, like medicine, law and academic, require further schooling. But a graduate degree is not a necessity for other fields, especially when you consider the income from advancing your education.

    When comparing the salaries of those with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, there isn’t a dramatic difference.

    In 2014, those who earned a bachelor’s degree earned a median salary of $69,260, while those with a master’s degree earned $65,330, according to the United States Department of Labor.

    At the time of graduation, many students still don’t know what is in store for their careers. Some may be going through their quarter-life crisis, which has stemmed from anxiety of not knowing what their future holds.

    Gaining experience in their desired field can help students get a better idea of what they want their career to look like.

    In a way, this level of schooling can prolong a student’s ability to work in the field of their interest so that when they do finally get a job, the actual field is not within their expectations. Getting experience first can help a student to see what their expectations should actually look like.

    After a change of interest, all the years spent in graduate school, along with thousands of dollars, seems like a waste.

    All throughout the traditional four years of college, students learn and grow and their interests change.

     At age 22 or 23, their minds are still changing. Often times, students will enter college with a set major but realize that it isn’t what they want to pursue.

    We’re still young and shouldn’t have to feel forced into investing more time and money into schooling for a career choice that will most likely change within the next fifteen years.

     Before you consider going immediately into graduate school and you are not a doctor, a lawyer, professor or any career that requires a certain degree, try working in the field first and then deciding, upon experience, what the next step is.

    Don’t jump the gun to quick when deciding on a future. It’s acceptable and smart even to wait on graduate school until you establish what you really want to do.

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