Sunday, July 15, 2012

If You Decide to Go to Graduate School

If you are considering graduate school, think about the advantages and disadvantages of more schooling. Make sure the program of study is right for you. Don't go into a field just because it is hot or prestigious. It may be very dismal in a few years from now. For instance, familiarize yourself with the current career prospects of law school graduates.

First, I must praise 100 Reasons Not to GO to Graduate School. Although the blog is targeted towards doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences, some of their advice also pertains to professional students. It makes you seriously consider the pitfalls of graduate life before you apply.

I will list the blog's reasons, other posters' reasons, and my reasons on what you should know before you decide to go to graduate school:

  1. Stay out of debt.
  2. Go to a prestigious school.
  3. Finish as quickly as possible.
  4. If you are a recent college graduate, give yourself time to adjust in the real world (i.e., get a job, volunteer, or teach abroad) before jumping back into school.
  5. Treat graduate school like a full-time job.
  6. Seek advisors who have a successful student placement record.
  7. Pursue every professional development opportunity you can in graduate school (e.g., internships, co-op programs, writing workshops, and field practicums).
  8. Graduate school is NOT an escape from reality.
  9. Don't apply for the wrong reasons.
  10. Pursue graduate school because the career path you want requires it.

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