When is Graduate School the Best Option?

As graduation season approaches, the reality of your situation begins to set in. Most college graduates have been in school full or part time for the majority of their lives. Now, it’s done. What are you supposed to do with all of your time now?

One of the biggest issues with the higher education system is their failure to educate students on the reality of the job market. Many students are told during their freshman year that a college degree would guarantee financial stability throughout adulthood.

This simply isn’t true anymore.

It’s common for new graduates to search for months, sometimes even years, for a stable job that reflects their undergraduate majors. Some never find it, and instead switch to another field. A common decision for those who fear that seemingly endless grind, however, is applying for a graduate degree.

Now let’s start by saying that a graduate degree is often a very good choice, and many fields actually require a graduate degree. For example, if you plan to be a practicing psychologist, or a college professor, then that graduate school investment is the perfect option for you.

However, if you’re still unsure about your future plans, I wouldn’t recommend it.

School doesn’t get less expensive with prestige. Attending graduate school is a huge commitment, in terms of both finance and time. And, just like your undergraduate school, a Masters doesn’t guarantee you a job in your field. In some fields, obtaining a Master’s degree is less important than you’d think.

Graduate school is a means to gain a stronger education in a field of your choice, not a resource to offset the inevitable job hunt.

If you really want your Masters degree, get it. If you are confident in your career choice and believe that a Masters degree will be beneficial to you long-term, get it. Invest in yourself. If you’re still unsure, or if you find yourself hiding under the umbrella of education to avoid the real world, take another year to think about it.

If you discover that you change your mind and your intentions are sound, you can always apply later.

Featured Photo By: Rob Bye

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