When you reach senior year, you will be bombarded with questions about the future: “What are you doing after graduation?” “Are you going to grad school?” You may decide to attend grad school right after finishing undergrad, or you may decide to wait and return to school a few years later. Grad school is a great way to further your education and master your degree, but there are several things to consider before attending grad school right after undergrad.
As seniors, you are working hard to find a job after graduation. It is a lot of work to keep your resume updated, search for jobs and fill out applications—job searching is a job in and of itself! If your job search does not produce results, do not give up and apply to grad school because you don’t know what else to do. Consider short-term or gap year programs, such as the Bon Secours Volunteer Ministry. Use the services that the Career Center offers to help you advance your job search process. They have many connections and resources that can help you find a job or an internship that may lead to a future career. The Career Center is always here to help you, even after graduation day, so take advantage of their expert services!
Grad school can be expensive. On average, 2-3 years of graduate school costs $50,000-$70,000. If you add this cost to undergrad expenses, that’s a lot of money spent on higher education in just 6-7 years! Thankfully, many schools offer graduate assistantships. Instead of paying for graduate school, you work at the school while studying for your master’s degree. Graduate schools are also very willing to financially support you if you need assistance. They are more flexible than undergraduate schools when offering money to potential students. If you cannot obtain a grad assistantship or adequate financial support, consider placing grad school on hold. A lot of companies pay for their employees to get a master’s degree. This is the best of both worlds because you will have a job and be able to earn your master’s degree for free! Seriously consider how you will finance graduate school before applying for entry right after graduation.
You may be considering grad school because you are nervous to enter the workforce. Everyone who has entered the workforce, from top executives to lower-level employees, has been apprehensive at some point before beginning their careers. Be confident in the skills and qualities that you possess and all the experiences you have had. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams—endless opportunities lie ahead of you after graduation!
If you decide to attend grad school right after leaving the Mount, come to the Career Center and utilize the resources they have to prepare for applications and testing. Begin researching schools during your junior year of college and take the standardized tests, such as the GRE, over the summer. In the fall of senior year, submit your applications and, in the spring, choose the right school for you. Graduate school is a wonderful way to advance your education and broaden your horizons. You just have to determine your motives for going or waiting.