To Go or Not to Go: Considering Graduate School

Posted on September 27, 2012 with No Comments

Sunset Crossroads

There are lots of reasons why people choose to go to graduate schools and pursue advanced degrees.  Deciding to go is a complex decision that involves the outlook for increased earnings and deepened learning in a field of study.  Although there are a plethora of reasons why to go, we’ll explore a few good reasons why not to go to graduate school.

An article called “The Five Worst Reasons to Go to Grad School” provides some useful tips for when to avoid graduate school.  Here are the five reasons, paraphrased:

1.  To Fill a Personal Void

You are more than your degrees.  Graduate school is great for people who find their zest from studying particular topics in-depth but doesn’t tend to be an effective patch for the holes in one’s life.

2.  For bragging rights

Graduate school is a hefty undertaking, and it will take time and money.  There are cheaper ways to obtain a positive reputation.

3.  Buying your way into a network

You will join a new network if you go to graduate school, but you are likely already a part of many networks (including the UVM community) and these will grow throughout your career, with or without graduate school.

4.  It’s the only way to get a job

Some jobs do require advanced degrees and some prefer them.  But there are lots of career opportunities for people with Bachelor’s degrees.  Employers want dedicated and skilled workers, and those skills can be developed in a plethora of ways.

5. It’s what to do when you’re lacking direction

Graduate school is not the place to discover your life’s path or career journey.  The strongest graduate school candidate’s know what they want to study and why.  Not with meticulous detailed measure, necessarily, but enough to have a vision for where the process might lead.

Ultimately, the decision to go to graduate school should be based on much reflection and consideration and it is yours to make.  To learn more about the ins and outs of considering and applying to graduate school, visit the Career Services website.

~Ashley Michelle

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