Is Grad School a Smart Decision?

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Many recent college graduates have decided to pursue an advanced degree instead of beginning a job search. For some, that means graduate school while others choose to pursue a certification (such as a teaching certification) when Career Plan A seems to be out of reach.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, last year "27 percent of college seniors said they planned to attend graduate school immediately after graduation, up from 21 percent in 2007." Is there a correlation between a rise in graduate school applications and a rise in unemployment rates? Are young people choosing to further their education to benefit a future career, or to put off the real world?

Studies show that there is a payoff to receiving a graduate-level education, even if the schooling costs upwards of $30,000. Since I myself spent 2+ years in graduate school, I may have a biased opinion. I can see both sides of the situation; for me, I had to go to graduate school since I was changing careers. I think in some fields, an advanced degree can help. In other situations, more degrees might not mean more money or opportunities for advancement. This article gives good insight if you are considering applying to graduate school. Though it may seem safe to continue your education instead of finding a job, please make sure you consider what is best for you and your career field. Many times, experience is a better teacher than anything you learn in a graduate school classroom.

If you are unsure of what road to take, I suggest you talk to admissions counselors at schools or attend an open house. If you know someone in your field who has a graduate degree, discuss the pros and cons with them. It's good to have some perspective before diving in to something new.

Let me know about your post-college decisions in the comments section.

Amy M worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English and Social Studies teacher. She is also a freelance writer for CollegeJobBank.Com. In her free time, Amy likes to practice yoga. She is a self-proclaimed 'American history nerd.' Read more of her blogs at Find jobs and other information at Nexxt.

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