Is grad school a scam? The cost of education continues to rise while wages and employment opportunities remain stagnant. Many twenty-somethings struggle to get a foothold in their career after completing their bachelors degree, so they go back to school hoping for more opportunities.
I love my generation, I do. I’m amused that I’m hurtling into my late 20’s and basically living like I’m in my early 20’s, but with considerably more money. It’s like being a teenager with a credit card. I don’t have a house, I don’t have a family, and really I don’t have any real obligations except for my career.
There it is, I said the scary word: CAREER
Millenials hate it. Even though I’m mostly debt-free and employed full-time, the word still ignites fear inside my heart. I will be working happily at my desk and then all of a sudden I will wonder (sometimes out loud), “is this my career? Have I arrived?!” and I feel like the are-we-there-yet child in the backseat of a station wagon on a family vacation. Is this it? Do I like it here? Do I want to do something else? Should I go back to school?
Which brings up the word that combats the scariness of career: GRAD SCHOOL
Related: Is Education Worth It?
Twenty-somethings love to go to grad school. It’s a great place. It’s like undergrad but you feel really sophisticated and sometimes you even get paid a small stipend which feels totally awesome after forking over tens of thousands of dollars for your bachelors degree. But how many people are actually in graduate studies to forward their career and how many are just hiding out there until this whole “get a career” nonsense blows over?
Is grad school a scam?
Some of you that have been reading my blog for years and years will remember that I began my Master of Science immediately after my Bachelors degree. I had good grades and planned to continue into my PhD, but life got heavy and one year into it I was just like…
Why did I even go to graduate school in the first place? Probably some or all of the same reasons anyone goes to graduate school:
- I liked what I was studying.
- It sounded important.
- I didn’t have a job lined up.
- I didn’t know what else to do.
Now I just have this awkward transcript where I received a GPA of 3.7 and “voluntarily withdrew from program” — which I guess is better then getting a D-average and being kicked out.
Graduate studies was both a waste and not a waste of my time. I didn’t finish my degree and delayed entering the workforce by a year, but I also had a good life experience, made great friends (including my supervisor, who forgives me for bailing out of his lab) and suffered little financial repercussions because there was enough of my stipend to live off of after tuition was paid. In my opinion, I got out relatively unscathed. I’ve heard plenty of stories about students who go deeply in debt for graduate school and ultimately end up with no better job prospects than they had with their undergraduate education.
The following videos are for your LOL-ing pleasure:
What are your thoughts about the mass subscription to graduate schools? What’s your experience with your graduate degree? Why is it so hard to establish a career? What is a career anyway? Do you think even Channing Tatum looks bad with a haircut like that?