Should You Apply to Grad School?
Today’s undergraduate students are feeling more and more pressure to attend graduate school. Your friends are doing it, and you think, “I want to be as successful as they are…What if I can’t get the job I want because everyone else has a graduate degree and I don’t?”
Well, think again…graduate school may not be for you– at least not at this time. Unless you know exactly which political cause, company, or nonprofit you want to work for, or the disease you want to spend your life studying, this could be an expense that wastes your time.
Graduate school takes on new meaning for students that know the path ahead. Knowing the “finished product” means that classes, papers, and research take on entirely new meaning. Every paper will make you think, “How could I spin this towards my career purpose?” or “How will this paper improve my portfolio?” If your program requires a project, dissertation, or thesis, you will NOT struggle with a topic if you have a specific reason for attending graduate school in the first place.
Many young adults thinking about graduate school will tell you that they changed their minds a couple of times before deciding which degree to pursue. This is not uncommon. In fact, many would recommend that students work for a few years in their fields of interest before deciding. Starting an organization, a newsletter, a movement or a big project now could either affirm your interests or steer you in another direction. Trying out a few jobs or volunteer positions before making the commitment could mean the difference between thousands of dollars wasted, or thousands of dollars well spent.
Going to graduate school is like writing a term paper. If you have a focused and well-written thesis from the get-go, your paper will make a lot more sense, will flow better, and will have been worth your time.
Still unsure? Consider taking this short quiz to evaluate your readiness for a graduate program.