By: Guest On: November 2, 2009 In: Current Events, Graduate School, Jobs Comments: 0

Are you spooked by your impending job search and considering going to graduate school in the US instead?

In a 2009 New York Times article, Up to Their Ears in Debt, Samantha Stainburn questions the popular belief that graduate school is a good place to “hide out” while the economy reestablishes itself.

While statistics say that US students with graduate degrees earn higher top average salaries than those with bachelor’s, this may not be reason enough to pursue an advanced degree, especially in the current economic state.

Consider these pros and cons before you decide whether attending a US graduate school program is right for you.

Pros of Going to Graduate School:

1. Higher Salary

If you have an advanced degree, you will statistically earn a much higher salary in the US than with a bachelor’s degree. For example, the Times article says that graduates with a higher degree will earn:

  • 15% more with a master’s in engineering
  • 54% more with an MBA
  • 175% with an MD

2. Loophole to Current Employment Climate

As we all know, it’s not the best time to be job hunting in the states.

Going to graduate school can push back your employment start date to a time when the economic forecast improves. Higher education can also contribute  to your marketability once you’ve graduated.

3. Scholarships are Still Available

Despite the shrinkage in the financial support system, going to graduate school is still possible with merit-based scholarships, particularly for international students.

Since foreign students don’t qualify for federal loans, many US graduate departments offer international student support and are eager to draw high-ranking candidates from abroad with scholarship money.

Cons of Going to Graduate School:

1. Loans Are a Risk

Grants and scholarships for going to graduate school are limited, which make loans the primary source for tuition payment. It has never been more obvious that borrowing large amounts of money is dangerous – you may be in way over your head once you complete your degree, and you may not be able to afford to pay off your debt.

2. No Guarantee of Employment

Once you receive your diploma, you might immediately expect to find employment. Before going to graduate school, however, consider the possibility that the economy may not improve as drastically as you’d like by the time you graduate. Top-paying employment may not be as readily available as you’d expect.

3. Work Experience Is More Valuable

Many companies value related work experience on your resume above an advanced degree in virtually any field you are pursuing. A few years of work experience can bring you closer to your dream job than going to graduate school.

Graduate school continues to be a great investment in your future. In the current economic climate, however, you might want to think twice before purchasing a GRE prep book and going to graduate school in the US.

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    • James Beckman
    • December 29, 2009
    • Reply

    Advantageously, the post is really the best on this notable topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your forthcoming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the tremendous clarity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay privy of any updates. Fabulous work and much success in your business enterprize!

    • Powell
    • January 30, 2012
    • Reply

    Graduate school is actually a great idea, and an intelligent way to bide your time while the economy is in a slump, because by the time you graduate, not only is there a likelihood of the job market opening up again, but you’ll also be far more qualified yourself, and hence eligible for more satisfying, better paying jobs. You just have to ensure that you pick an accredited, well rated college, and pick college degree programs that engage you, match your passions, but also are projected to be good in terms of job prospects. Also, please note that many colleges now offer financial planning services so your fees will not necessarily be high enough to put you in lifelong debt.

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