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Grad school or no grad school…that is the question

I’ve never liked school.

Ever since the first grade, I’ve tried to think of ways to get out of going to school. I played every line in the book. It made me become a bit of a hypochondriac, which came in handy while living with my parents, but once I made it to college, I couldn’t fool myself.

No sickness could help me escape the fact that I couldn’t wait to get out of school. In middle school and high school I had a countdown taped to the inside of my locker that kept track of my closest break.

While college is much better, 17 straight years of education has proven to be incredibly draining. Yet, somehow, I find myself considering going to…graduate school.

(Oh, kill me.)

I’m not alone though. Tons of other college students are leaning toward getting their master’s for many reasons, but mainly to postpone entering our amazing economy.

Every college student that I’ve spoken with has at least considered it. I guess I had just missed the memo.

Brian Smith, a junior at the University of South Florida, started at USF this semester and is already planning for graduate school.

“I’m a music education major,” he said. “Really, there’s no chance that I’ll get that job right out college. So, I might as well do grad school, right?”

Maybe.

Well, the job market is especially promising for print journalism majors. I’ve heard about it from basically every teacher, guest speaker in class, and any other random person that knows my major. It really never gets old hearing that my future is going down the drain and that I should consider a backup plan. I’m not really a backup plan kind of girl but everyone’s making me think I should be.

So, I’ve begun to consider prolonging my educational career even though I’m not really interested. There are some good things that could come out of it, though. For one, it might give me more time to more experience to increase my marketability. Maybe I’d have more time to land an awesome internship. I might even learn something that would put me way ahead of my competition. Also, maybe by the time it took me to finish with my master’s, the economy will be back in good – or at least decent – shape.

I’ve heard it from so many people, “I don’t really know what I’ll end up doing but having my master’s will make it better.”

Well, yeah, but there’s arguments for not going to graduate school, too. One of those being the whole reason why our country can’t give us enough jobs in the first place: money.

As the country waits to see if President Obama’s stimulus plan actually works, we can’t predict what the economy will be like in December when I graduate, let alone in three or four years. Maybe it will be better but maybe it won’t be.

I’ll have been lucky enough to get my bachelor’s degree with less than $10,000 in loans. If I were to continue and get my master’s who knows how much in loans I’ll have to repay.

Depending on where I would choose to attend graduate school, it could cost anywhere between $12,000 and $20,000 in tuition alone.

For me, the whole money thing carries a lot of weight and counts as about three valid arguments. Then there is, of course, my love for sitting in classrooms all day.

For many, a bachelor’s degree alone will mean nothing in their chosen field. Junior psychology student at USF, Jennifer Geneus, wishes she had the choice.

“People in my field would laugh at me if I only had a bachelor’s degree,” she said.

While Geneus anticipates another five years or so of school, I can’t say that I’m swayed one way or the other.

For some people the answer is obvious and the reasons for or against are strong. Sure, it could put me at an advantage but at a high price. Maybe it’s worth it but maybe it’s not.

1 comment so far

I considered grad school, but I just wanted to get busy and get on with it. I don’t regret it. But that was a few years ago, before the current depression… oops, recession landed on us. I feel for anyone having second thoughts about joining the work force right now.

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