No Jobs? Graduate School…Here I Come!!! (Part 1)

It’s a fact.  A college degree isn’t what it used to be.  While an inevitable and necessary step into a comfortable future, your college diploma is not a one-way ticket to Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  With a college degree that appears to continue to depreciate in value, many students are opting for further education.

While many students see a graduate degree as a means to increase their EP (Earning Potential), the graduates of ’08 and ’09 see graduate school as a educational “holding pattern” that may give them the opportunity to avoid the treacherous skies of this challenging job market.  I will be the first person to say that EDUCATION is never a “bad” thing, unless you go to Florida State (UM’s rival…small joke).  However, graduate school comes at significant costs and sacrifices that may not be ideal for every candidate.  

In this posting, I wanted to discuss a few reasons why going to graduate school may be a GOOD idea for the Class of 2009….and in PART II, we’ll discuss the negative side of using grad school as a waiting room.


1.  Once you’re finished, no one will ever be able to take away your education.  You’re stuck with it.  For most graduates, this means higher salaries and better opportunities.  Example:  If you are looking to become a teacher, a teacher with a Masters degree or PhD works on a much higher pay grade than a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree.  The investment will pay off in the long run through higher wages and more stable job placement.


2.  Graduate school will take you out of the job market for at least a year, maybe even two or three.  Whether it’s a masters program (1-2 years), JD ( 3 years) or MD (4 years), grad school will give you the opportunity to hopefully enter the market once things have stabilized.  This is the major reason many students have decided to return to school, most of whom have been working for a year or two and have decided to return to increase their EP.   REBUTTAL IN PART II

3.  You are already in the academic mode.  Many graduate students who leave school, work for a few years, and come back have to reconfigure themselves to deal with the frustrations of academia.  While the classes will certainly be more difficult, the transition from college to grad school should not be difficult at all (unless you decide to go to law school and then the Socratic method kicks in).   REBUTTAL IN PART II

4.  This may be a personal view, but I believe that completing graduate school at an earlier age offers a tremendous advantage to any young adult.  While a graduate degree is great at any age, the ability to complete multiple degrees prior to your 25th birthday will give you much more flexibility when entering the job market.  Not only will you have a educational background that is more impressive then most of your colleagues, but more than likely you won’t be dealing with the concerns associated with late 20’s to mid 30’s (children, mortgage, etc…)  Your flexibility will allow you to apply for jobs in areas of interest and have the ability to pick and choose the right opportunity for you.


5.  Many schools are offering graduate programs online, which I personally believe is the future for education.  Online programs allow for tremendous flexibility and cost-efficiency when deciding to continue you studies.  Make sure to take the time to do your research and pick a program that is both accredited and relative.  


Graduate School is becoming almost customary for today’s professionals.  Take the time to decide if it is a smart investment for your financial future.

Stay Tuned For Part II……


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