Yes. I said it. Graduate school is overrated. Every once in a while I get asked if I’ve ever thought about going back to school. My response has consistently been “HECK NO.”
Am I the only person that thinks 99% of graduate students are either A) taking classes simply because school is all they’ve ever known and the thought of working scares the bajeezus out of them? Or B) they wanted to work, but graduated college in a depressed economy and thought a little more school would help them stand out from the thousand other applicants just like them?
As I consider looking for a new job this year, I know I’ll be competing against a whole slew of 20-somethings. Many of whom will have some fancy initials after their name (J.D., MBA, etc). Am I scared of them? No way. I could care less how many letters your name comes with. At the end of the day an employer is going to pick the best candidate for the job. Unless your masters is a requirement for the position, you wont have much (if any) of an edge on me. Heck, you might even have a disadvantage since the prospective employer might think you’d request a higher salary than me.
What’s more, while you’ve spent the last three years learning about Keynesian economics, I’ve spent it, ya know…working. In this economy experience trumps education. Go look at Monster.com, you’ll notice many positions say a masters degree is only “preferred“ but three to five years work experience is “required“. It doesn’t matter if you meet the preferences, if you can’t meet the requirements.
Quite possibly the most frustrating reason people go to grad school is that they think it will help them decide what they want to do for a living. Excuse me, if your four years of college didn’t do that for you, what makes you think another two to three years of school will? Besides, isn’t grad school a pretty expensive way to figure that out? The only way you are gonna know what you want to do for a living is to go out and get some experience in the field. Work with lawyers before you decide to be one.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Grad school is overrated… kinda like the Lakers.
If you actually REQUIRED graduate level education (therapists, physicians, teachers, etc) for your career please don’t think this post is directed towards you.