Grad School vs Working
As the fall semester of my senior year at Fordham University comes to a close, campus seems to be buzzing with conversation regarding post-graduate plans. My interpretation of the 2012-ers, at this point, is that the senior class seems to be pretty split between enrolling in graduate school and beginning work immediately.
Even in my apartment, for instance, the room is split down the middle. Two of us are beginning our careers in May in the journalism and publishing fields-right after Commencement-where my other two roommates are going to law school and divinity school, to eventually become an attorney and a theology teacher, respectively.
I have found that many of those whom I have discovered are going to graduate school are doing so because they feel it is absolutely necessary for their careers. Furthermore, they feel as though they would not be able to receive a job in their respective fields if they have solely a bachelor's degree.
Kevin Gray, a senior at Providence College studying healthy policy management and philosophy, intends to pursue a career in health care consulting and finds graduate school to be a necessity for his budding career.
"I am taking the opportunity to pursue an MBA in order to better prepare for the corporate world," he said. "In addition to expanding employment opportunities, going to business school will greatly enhance my knowledge of relevant fields of study. In this ever-changing world, pursuing more coursework can only help to prepare any individual-regardless of employment experience-for the workplace."
Back in May, the New York Times published a piece, "Many With New College Degree Find the Job Market Humbling," with regard to the bleak job opportunities, citing that many students with a four year degree are so desperate for any position that they resort to working in restaurants, bars and in retail.
"The choice of major is quite important," the article states. "Certain majors had better luck finding a job that required a college degree, according to an analysis by Andrew M. Sum, an economist at Northeastern University, of 2009 Labor Department data for college graduates under 25."
The writer, Catherine Rampell, added that the study found that young graduates who majored in education and engineering were most likely to find a job requiring a college degree.
"Area studies majors, such as Latin American studies…and humanities majors, were least likely to do so," she said.
According to the analysis, 71.1 percent of all recent education graduates were in jobs that required a college degree, while only 44.7 percent of area studies majors were.
Despite possibly being grouped into the "area studies" bracket, English major and Fordham senior Christine Barcellona, is completely set to enter the workforce.
"After spending practically my whole life in school, I am ready to experience the workplace and pursue other, non-academic passions of mine," she said.
Barcellona added that she has enjoyed the internships that she has held over the past couple of years and is excited to be able to work without also having the pressure of papers, exams and extracurricular activities.
"If I were to go into graduate school now, I don't even know what I would want to study," she said. "And aside from that, after four years at a university, I'm excited to finally be paid for my work, instead of paying through the nose at school."
I tend to find myself agreeing with Barcellona. Although I would love to pursue a graduate degree on the side at some point in my life, I do not find it to be necessary right away-especially in the journalism field where experience is essential. I find it to be more beneficial to enter the workforce immediately. Albeit a theory-based post-graduate education would not be harmful, the hands on experience with a job is so much more valuable.