Written by Leanna Westerhof. Media by Kayla Morton.
One of the famous questions for college students includes, “Is graduate school in your future?” Or some variation of that question. For many college students the answer is, “I don’t know” or a straight up, “No, I am done with school after I graduate,” but there are some whose career paths require continued education. What is graduate school? Berkeley’s Career Center website defines it as, “an advanced program of study focused on a particular academic discipline or profession.” In easier terms, it is essentially going to school for two more years and honing your academics or skills for a more specific career path. For those in the religion department, it might mean going to seminary, for those who are pre-med it might mean going to med school and for business majors it might mean getting your MBA.
There are plenty of reasons for getting a graduate degree. First off, in this day and age more and more people are going to grad school making it harder for those with undergraduate degrees to compete with them in the job market, as a result a graduate degree gives you more access to employment. It also means earning more, as usually those with graduate degrees go into more specialized jobs that require specific training. Even so, there is the money and time it takes to go to graduate school and it seems like a never ending circle of homework, classes and more homework to current college students. At the end of our four years, most of us are ready to go into the real world and get a job and leave academia behind. Yet, there are those who have an insatiable hunger for learning. It is to these people that graduate school seems like a golden opportunity.
Graduate school is also an opportunity for those who feel stuck in their current major because it means they will have to extend their time at college to five years only to get an undergraduate degree. Earning a graduate degree means you can get it in an entirely unrelated field if that is your desire. It is perfect for those who change their mind about what they want to do, or those people who couldn’t triple or quadruple major in undergrad, but now they get to study economics with an undergrad in philosophy. Or those who majored in computer science can now study journalism. The sky is your limit!
For some of us, getting a graduate degree has its appeals because our career doesn’t pay much in the first place or perhaps it requires more specialized training like counseling. Whatever the reason, not everyone wants to go to graduate school and that is perfectly okay. There are also some grounds of why you shouldn’t go to grad school, like wanting to postpone getting a real job, because your parents want you to or wanting people to call you doctor (talk about egotistic and not to mention overrated). Getting through four years of college is hard enough, so who wants to add another two? Graduate school requires passion, dedication and desire for those who have the gumption to slay that Goliath. And only you can answer the question, “Is it worth it?”