Congratulations, you have just finished your undergrad, tossed your cap, and checked a box off for completion of a major life goal. Now it’s time to head off to grad school, get your MBA and land your dream job, right? Well, that’s one option, but life doesn’t really follow a bullet point outline format. Instead, you’re living your very own ‘choose your own adventure.’ The bad news is, unlike in the paperback edition after you “die,” you can’t just flip back to the previous section and make the opposite choice to continue with the narrative. Related: Should You Go Back To School? 4 Factors To Consider College is glorified in many ways, perhaps none more so as being a place where you can find out who you are while making mistakes. This is only true to a point, though—you can also completely screw the pooch—what you do immediately after college, whether it is grad school or diving into a career, will shape the rest of your adventure.
Why you should GET your master’s before jumping into a career...There is not end all, be all reason for going or not going to grad school, but the fact is more of your peers are choosing to go. According to this graphic from Norwich University, from 2011 to 2012, almost 50% of MBA programs receive an increase in applications, and over 60% of MBA programs increased their program size. But, like your mom always said, just because all your friends are jumping off a cliff doesn’t mean you should, too. Perform a self-evaluation and ask yourself honestly, what are your reasons for wanting a master’s degree? If your school offers a joint undergrad and graduate school program, the decision to continue your education makes sense, especially in cases where the program allows you to complete your education faster saving time and money in the process. If you landed a job while completing your undergrad that will pay for your education or that offers education benefits, jump on that opportunity. Although many employers won’t pay for a program in full, often they are able to offer some repayment. Finally, even if you aren’t able to enter a joint program or secure any type of repayment, will the return on you education be worth the investment?
- Assess the total cost of the program
- Determine how long it will take you to repay that amount (factor in potential looming expenses—are you planning on getting married or trying to have a baby?)
- How will you secure payment for the program