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Weighing out the Pros and Cons of Grad School
In a recent news story, it was reported that grad school enrollment may increase in the coming months and years. Not surprised, because it seems like a positive thing for new graduates to do with their idle time if they can’t find a job. We still began to wonder if it is the best option. The truth is, we are all about furthering one’s education. The question; however, still remains as to whether the benefits of additional schooling will outweigh the prospective job opportunities during a) an economic turndown b) the hovering unprecedented times and c) the student’s chosen field. It’s not like grad school is suddenly going to be free; therefore, possibly, requiring student loans.
At the risk of sounding negative, our students who have recently graduated or are about to, are doing so during a time of historic unemployment. Many of our young adults were promised jobs upon graduation, but conversely, these job offers had to be rescinded. Others have been working for just a few months when they too joined the unemployment lines. We realize we aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know and may, perhaps, keeps you up at night. (You are not alone.) The big question is, is graduate school a good option for those young people? What does it mean in regard to their career ambitions?
Heading back to the classroom during an economic decline is apparently a common trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college enrollment grew by 3 million, from 2006 to 2011. Some students may choose to stay in undergraduate school a little longer by picking up another minor thereby avoiding the eminent dreaded job. (I actually read this and thought I’d share since it made me feel better since that is exactly what my daughter just did.) No doubt, the benefits of additional schooling outweigh prospective job opportunities if you consider the idea that additional schooling can make students more marketable in the long run, particularly when accruing experience isn’t an option. The keyword here is can; not will.
Still, students that are looking to wait out the pickle our country is in, before enrolling in grad school, should consider their future job prospects, study habits, and the cost of tuition. After taking into consideration these factors, try to find a program/degree/certificate that will make you more marketable upon completion even if the unemployment rate is still suffering. Obviously, we hope not, but if the new degree is going to make you no more marketable in your chosen field, and you will need loans too, perhaps attempting to find a less optimal job, for the time being, is the better option.
Which fields are best served with an advanced degree? That too has changed in recent months. Check out our blogs on College Majors to Pursue and, if grad school is something you are considering, Preparing for Grad School Exams.
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