Pros and Cons of Going to Grad School Immediately After Undergraduate Program Completion

Grad school is an excellent option for students who have completed an undergraduate program. It allows for greater employment opportunities, personal growth, and greater recognition and credibility in the workforce. However, after years of higher education, some want a break from the student lifestyle. There are pros and cons related to waiting to attend grad school, and it is up to the individual to understand how they personally apply to them.

Pro #1- Gain Valuable Experience

Once a degree is obtained, many doors open to job applicants. Students who have recently graduated have a lot to gain by entering the workforce immediately. It is a time to apply what they have learned throughout their college career in real-life situations, and this is the best teaching tool. Furthermore, they can begin networking with professionals who can give them future guidance and reference.

Pro #2- Begin Paying Off College Debt

College is expensive, and the average graduate is left with a debt of $53,000. While student loans do not accrue interest while the student is still in school, they do kick in after graduation. Many choose to get into the field immediately in order to begin paying back the debt before they go on to pursue further education.

Pro #3- More Competitive Attitude

The things you learn in college are best honed on the job. Taking a year off before entering grad school can help the student become more confident and competitive in their particular field of study. This can help them to better compete for fellowships, competitive labs, and other honorary positions. Students who wait also have time to develop relationships with professionals they can counsel with during grad school courses.

Con #1- Lost Motivation

Many who wait to go to grad school land a job they enjoy. While this is not a bad thing, it can become a distraction that will lessen the chance that further education will ever be pursued. While the pay may be good, and it is a job that the student has already received extensive schooling on, they will miss out on the financial rewards of grad school education. For example, those with a master’s degree can earn an additional $12,000 to $17,000 a year over a bachelor’s degree.

Con #2- Time Off Can Make Application Process Difficult

If considering taking time off, students should consider their degree. For example, those in pursuit of grad school in fields such as English could have a tough time on their application as opposed to someone pursuing science. Students should first consider their field and determine if on-the-job experience is something that will be of value when it comes time to apply for grad school.

Consider Your Situation

Pursuing higher education is a great choice. The income opportunity is higher, and the student will be a more confident professional. It is impossible to determine for the individual whether taking time off prior to enrolling in grad school is appropriate. Students must weigh the pros and cons in relation to their personal situations and expectations in order to come to the best decision.