Updated: May 20, 2020
The road leading away from college is different for everyone, but many choose the path to graduate school. While higher education nurtures those interested in academia, the education received from real-world experiences and entry-level jobs can be just as valuable and formative. Here are five reasons to consider waiting to go to graduate school.
You need time to think about what you really want to do. Taking time off after college will give you the time to regroup and think about your career and personal goals. Stepping out as a member of the “real world” will give you the opportunity to be introspective and learn about where you fit into the world and the change you would like to make in it. Understanding yourself and what you want to accomplish will help you make a more guided decision about what program and school are best for you.
You’ll be able to think practically about your graduate school work. Getting work experience under your belt will help you immensely during graduate school. Unlike college, the majority of work you’ll do in graduate school will be real-world problem solving with a hands-on approach. If you’ve had work experience prior to attending, you’ll have actual context for the work that you do during school, making it more meaningful and impactful.
Having work experience may make you a more competitive applicant. While your grades and GRE score may get your application a first glance, it’s what you’ve done that’s really going to get you through the door. Working before you go to school may serve as a great compliment to what you have done in college. Furthermore, if your job is related to the program you are applying for, it will also help convey your passion to the school’s admissions committee.
It gives you time to save money. It’s no secret that taking time off school will allow you the time work and save money. Graduate school is coupled with high sticker prices in addition to the price of living. Taking a year or so to save money will help you out immensely in the long run.
It will give you time to explore your options. More than anything, taking time off between college and graduate school will allow you explore your options. Take the time to do different jobs, explore your passions, and determine what you want out of a career. Ultimately this will help you decide what graduate program is best for you, or if you want to attend graduate school at all.