Siena College's Student Newspaper

Opinion

The Time for Graduate School is Now

The great debate about the timing of graduate school is never ending. Some say go immediately after completing undergraduate. Others say wait until an employer will pay for it. The only problem with waiting: as you age, life becomes more complicated. Not only do former students become comfortable with their jobs and begin rising up the corporate ladder, but they begin to settle down and start families. It’s hard enough as an undergraduate student to find time to balance a full-time school schedule with a social life and a part-time to a full-time job on the side. Waiting for graduate school means working a full-time job, balancing home life with work life, and somehow trying to find a place to go to school on top of everything. Overwhelming? More than likely.

Attending graduate school right after undergraduate has a lot of benefits, such as students are already in the “study mindset,” the only obligation one has is school and possibly work, it can further specialize a degree, and it can open up more job opportunities.

Much like undergraduate, the longer a student waits to attend school, the more likely they are not to attend. If a student knows they want to go to graduate school, go immediately. Not only does this eliminate the wait time, but why place a hold on something that’s already been decided on? Just do it. Not only that, but it will be easier for students to adjust from undergraduate to graduate than, say, coming from a 9 to 5 job back to tests and homework. Learning how to study again at age 30 is a lot harder than learning to study at ages 23 to 25.

Talk to any single parent and they’ll say the same thing: going to school and raising a kid isn’t an easy feat. By the time most people are reconsidering graduate school, it’s about the time their little ones are going off to school themselves. Like stated before, raising a family and going to school is hard. Parents have to balance a full-time job to pay bills and buy groceries, maintain a relationship with their spouse, and raise their children. Adding on another full-time occupation is nearly impossible and far from easy. Going to school straight away eliminates the factor of raising a family for most students. This gives graduate students more time to study and do well in school without someone tugging on their pant leg because they had a bad dream or don’t want to go to sleep.

Graduate school can take a “basis” degree and make it a specialization in a certain field. Take an English degree, for example. Basic, one can pretty much do anything with it. Going to graduate for a degree in journalism or creative writing or education can elevate one’s expertise in a field and also offer opportunity to advance in a chosen field. Some jobs, like writing for a major company, need more than just a basic English degree. Other jobs require a certain degree that undergraduate school might not offer, but graduate school does. Graduate school not only inflates your pay grade, but it elevates your place within a company.

Finally, go before you talk yourself out of it.