While an advanced degree may be necessary for certain careers, such as those in law or advanced teaching positions, for other career paths, graduate school may just be an option. While graduate school may offer personal, intellectual, and creative enrichment, it is not necessary for all careers. The following are some reasons other choices may be more helpful to advancing your career than attending graduate school:
Is Graduate School Worth It for Your Career?
Work experience is valued
While having a graduate degree may be helpful, many employers also value work experience. They want to know what skills and experience you will bring to the table. Working offers real world experience. Also, working for a company in your field of interest, even in an entry level position, may be a way to gain a foot in the door and a path towards advancement to a position you desire in a field you enjoy working in. If a graduate degree is not a necessary pre-requisite for your career choice, entering the workforce may be a more practical path towards your career goal.
Obtaining a graduate degree does not necessarily single you out as a better potential employee
While holding a graduate degree does show you have certain skills and have the stamina to work towards and complete goals, employers want to hire candidates who will be able to come in and get the job done. Having a graduate school education may be considered an attribute by employers, but work experience is often also necessary in order to be considered for a position.
Having a graduate degree does not necessarily translate into a higher paying job after graduate school
With the job market so competitive, many people are returning to graduate school. What that means is more people are gaining advanced degrees, leading to more people looking for higher-level jobs, with limited higher-level positions available.
If you do not need a graduate degree for the career you are interested in pursuing, it may not be worth the sacrifice and expense
Attending graduate school costs money, unless you receive a grant or scholarship to attend. Even so, attending graduate school is time consuming and does not allow the time for you to earn the income you might if you had a full-time job. Consider the cost of graduate school and the loss of income earnings lost while attending graduate school. Is it necessary or worth it for your career?
While graduate school certainly offers enrichment in many ways, as well as exhibits that you have talents and skill in specific areas, it is a personal choice. If a graduate degree is not a requirement for the career path that interests you, weigh the pros and cons of attending graduate school for your situation. Only you can decide what is right for you.
This was a guest post from Kathy Kara. Kathy is a representative of the Institute for Coaching.
[Editors Note] Do you agree with this or not? Let’s discuss in the comments.
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