Alternatively why would someone choose to enter the workforce instead?
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I think a lot of people choose grad school - particularly professional school like law, business, etc., because they don't know what they really want to do. It defers decisions, and sounds somewhat prestigious to say "I'm going to law school".
Of course, if you're passionate about the law, business, etc., that could be a great idea! But for many, a little real world experience will be incredibly valuable.
I had been accepted to a Ph.D. Economics program at Princeton when I went to work for Stanford Research Institute as a grunt level data analyst. 35 years later, I've had a fascinating career (which included business school, btw), and am so happy I didn't go the Ph.D. route.
I agree with Stacy, it depends on what you are going to school for. Even just within the business world, you can't get very far in accounting without a masters degree but I am in marketing and went straight into the work force. Personally, I really think going into the workforce (as long as its possible) is a great idea. You get real world experience. Someday I plan on returning to school to get my masters and i will be able to use my experience from working to relate to the subject matter in graduate school. I dont think there is any harm in taking a couple years off after your recieve your undergrad, make some money, explore your opportunites and then go back to grad school when you are sure of what you want to go to school for and are aware of your options.
It really depends on who you are and what you want to.
For instance, some graduate schools don't accept students right out of undergrad, they want them to have "life experience" (basically experience working at a job where you are unappreciated so that you'll be more motivated to stay in school).
Others go right to grad school so they can get a certain job or a better paying job, as was mentioned earlier.
Some people try their hand in the working world, decide it's not for them, and return to school to train for something else.
The answer to this question just depends on the person's situation. For example, I will use myself. First, I obtained my BBA in Office Administration and worked in offices for various industries for about nine (9) years. Then, when I began working for this Engineering company, I started my career in Human Resources (HR) as an HR Assistant and loved it. But, unfortunately my career took a downturn after 2 1/2 years there, because I was involved in a large company layoff. So, instead of getting myself down, I enrolled into a Master's program and fast forward, I have my Master's in Human Resources Management. My point of sharing this is that I used my layoff to my advantage and just opted for "Continued Education" and "Higher Learning" in my field, before entering back into the workforce. So, again it just depends on the person and why they would want to keep learning vs. just going into the workforce. I hope this helps!
For me it has always been my dream to attend college ever since I was a little girl. Other cases sometimes the parents may want their kids to go to college, therefore the child attends based on the wishes of their parents. Also for me I am the one that has achieved the highest in my family. It has been a huge accomplishment for me to also lead by example to let the future generation and my family know that nothing is impossible that everything is possible.
I have some friends that went into Grad school hoping once entering the work force, the salary they will be offered will compensate the years of studying. Now a days, employeers in many areas, look for a mix between experience and level of studies. It will be very important to identify if the Masters degree persuing will in fact impact your carreer path.
It depends on what your goals are. For example, you can't be a doctor with a bachelor's degree. If you want to be a professor, you need a master's degree at a minimum.
An alternative is to enter the workforce and go to grad school part time.