It can be difficult to decide what to do after college. Should you get admitted to grad school or apply for a job or enroll yourself in an apprenticeship?
Your college life is about to end.
You must give much consideration to making the right choices regarding what to do after college. According to a study, over 40% of college graduates take jobs after completing their under-graduation.
However, it doesn’t mean you have to get straight into a job after college. Read this blog to learn more about the different options you can choose from after college.
Option 1: Grad School
Taking admission into a grad school after college may seem like taking a big leap. But, before you go for this option, you should first learn about it in detail.
Here are a few things that you should know about:
Determine your goals
Before you make any decision, you must know what is your career goal. Without having a clear career goal, you will surely face difficulty in achieving success in higher studies (if you choose to pursue).
For example, if you want to become a professor, you should check out how many job openings are there in your field of study. You need to do particular research on job placements for the programs that you are planning to take in grad school. Long –term planning is the key to achieving success in grad school.
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Pros and Cons of Getting into a Grad School Just after Your College
There are both advantages and disadvantages of going to grad school, which are as follows:
If you are certain that you want to get a graduate degree, then grad school after college is probably the best option you have. The four years of under-graduation will help you get through the master’s program. You will still be in your ‘student’ mode and used to going to classes right after completing your college.
There is a huge competition regarding getting into grad school. Hence, the sooner you apply, the better will be your chances of getting a seat. In case you want to take one year off to do a job instead and apply later, you may not get admission next year and have to wait for more years. If you start your grad school sooner, you will be able to get your dream job (that may require a higher degree) sooner.
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If you jump straight into a grad school right after college, you might not be able to connect to the lessons as much as you could have if you had job experience. If you have professional experience before attending grad school, you will get more insights into the topics. Moreover, having professional experience before joining a grad school helps you understand what skills and knowledge you need while learning in grad school.
As mentioned above, you will have to face a lot of competition while getting admission into grad schools. But, you can be one step ahead of your competitors if your application contains work experience. The admission team views everything from the grades to test scores, from your personal essays to the resume. If you have long work experience, it will give out the impression to the admission committee that you have realistic professional goals.
Another thing that you need to consider before opting for a grad school is finances. You have to think about the expenses of grad schools.
There are many programs that offer to fund for students, including scholarships, stipends, and fellowships. You must consider the cost of grad school against the earning potential of your future. This way, you can decide how much money you can afford to pay on your degree.
Considering all the points mentioned above, you can come to a decision about whether you should get into a grad school right after college.
Option 2: Apprenticeship
If you decide to enroll in an apprenticeship, you should know about its pros and cons, which are listed below:
1. Apprenticeships can be seen as structured training programs that provide you with a chance to work for in order to get a degree/certificate. You will acquire the knowledge and skills you require to achieve success in your industry.
2. You can earn and learn at the same time. Thus, there will be no student tuition fees, student loans, or probably no educational debt. Your employer will pay you and the training costs will probably be covered by the government.
3. You will get an excellent experience in the professional world through apprenticeship. You also get a chance to apply your knowledge into the practical arena. This way, you become more confident in the work environment.
1. You may have to start your work at a much lower salary as compared to a graduate. However, not all apprentices get the lowest possible salary; some get a considerable amount as well.
2. Another disadvantage of apprenticeship is that you will not be able to get access to this option in all industries. For certain industries, you only need to have an undergraduate degree. However, in some cases, a graduate degree is a must. Moreover, many employers prefer graduates to undergraduates.
Option 3: Job
Just like getting into grad schools and apprenticeship, there are also possible advantages and disadvantages of doing a job after college. These are explained below:
The much-needed break
After college, if you decide to do a job, you will get that necessary break from studies and do whatever you want to do. After a long time, you will have weekends when you don’t need to study anymore.
By doing a job, you will also have a steady income, which you can save up for your future studies. You don’t have to think about the expenses of your higher studies or taking a student loan.
A job will also help you get professional experience, which will enable you to be more time-efficient. Thus, you will learn how to adapt to work forty-something hours in a week. However, you should pick out jobs that are linked to your future goals.
For example, you should choose a research assistant job with a professor with whom you hope to study in the future. Furthermore, your professional experience will add to your graduate school personal statements.
Another advantage that you will get from doing jobs after college is expanding your networks. If you make valuable networks, it will go a long way in your future studies as well as career.
- Choosing a job after college can also bring challenges. You may find it difficult to return to grad school after taking a long break from studying. For example, if you have a plan to complete a doctoral program, you should be very self-disciplined to get through the four-to-seven-years-course.
- There is another possible disadvantage of doing a job after college. While doing a job, your goals may change. For example, you may meet someone and plan to get married. Although, this does not mean that you cannot apply to get admission to a grad school later. However, you should determine whether your goal remains the same as it was when you passed from college.
It is not easy to make a decision about what to do after college.
Moreover, lack of experience and inability to judge the significance of every option can become the reason for a poor choice. This is why it is necessary to give enough time about making a decision regarding this.
There are advantages and disadvantages to all the options mentioned above. You need to consider all sides to make a sound decision for your future.