I cannot make up my mind. Do I go to graduate school or start working and then return to graduate school? There are pros and cons to each decision. Graduate school is expensive and time consuming, yet it allows you to further your education in a specific field. It is a tough decision that I will have to make next December, and some students will have to make as soon as this summer. So, I wanted to take a look at a few of the pros and cons of going to graduate school immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree.
Earning your master’s degree only increases your expertise in a specific subject and helps you to better prepare yourself for the work environment, but it cost time and money. If you immediately go from earning your bachelor’s degree to pursuing your master’s, the transition would not be as dramatic if you were to take a break from school and later go back to school. I know that if I work for a few years, I will potentially learn more about the specialized area of study that I want to focus on in graduate school, but nobody knows what life will bring. I’m not sure that you can plan out life step-by-step for ten years to come. Something could happen, such as getting married and having kids, and then you might not be able to go back to school. As a student you have less obligations and responsibilities to the world, and after being a student for the first 20-some-odd years of your life, you might as well be a student for a few more before entering the “real world.” Another mitigating factor is money. If you have the money to attend graduate school you might as well. Graduate school is expensive; just because you have the money now, doesn’t mean you will have it in a few years, right?
On the other hand, deciding to enter the work force and not immediately pursue after graduate school, you can work a little bit and earn some valuable experience in certain career fields that you would like to go back and study while obtaining your master’s. Also, by working, you can get a better feel for the career field you would like to spend the rest of your life in. Let’s say that you want to be a computer salesman, and right after undergraduate school you are offered a job at a good company to be a computer salesman. Do you begin working for that company because it is an offer in your selected field, or do you take a chance, turn down the offer and go to school? I think it might be hard to turn down a paycheck in your selected career field in order to go back to school for a few more years. Some graduate school programs actually require you to have work experience before entering their master’s program, but it seems difficult to imagine turning down paychecks and in-turn spending money to go back to school.
In my specific case, I’m getting an undergraduate degree in public relations but I have a passion for (sports) marketing. If I go to graduate school and get a Master in Business Administration (MBA), I would increase my intelligence in marketing and put myself in a position to get a better job in the future. So do I enter the public relations workforce, with hopes of gaining some marketing experience before returning to school, or do I tough it out for a few more years in school so that I am better prepared when I enter the workforce? Feel free to help me, I need as much as I can get.