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Work Experience or Grad School?

December 8th, 2009

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Now that you're close to completing your undergraduate education, you're probably wondering what to do next. Should you enter the adulthood and earn a paycheck or extend your life in college by enrolling in a graduate school? Both routes have their benefits, but deciding which would lead you to the greatest amount of success depends on your goals and personal preferences.

There isn't a better way to discover your likes, interests and limitations than thrusting yourself into the real world immediately after graduation. Chances are that you'll find a position that utilizes the skills you've learned while in college. It'll be a challenge at first, but you'll gain confidence as you become more familiar with expectations of your employer, which differ from the expectations of an academic setting. As you build your skillset and become better at your craft, you'll find opportunities to advance and make a better living. However if you find that you dislike your occupation and you're unable to sufficiently perform the tasks you're given, it's not too late to consider a different kind of job. There are tons of entry-level positions that require just a college degree. Because you're still young and have little responsibility, you can afford to experiment until you find happiness.

If your goals are clearly defined and you've already pinpointed your occupation of choice, grad school can give you the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective in that line of work. Although you'll miss out on work experience, the transition will be seamless because you're used to being a student. The research, studying and test-taking shouldn't be difficult if you were deemed worthy for admission into grad school. In your program, you'll have the opportunity to learn from the leaders in your field while networking, which will enhance your ability to find a good job. Studies have shown that people who possess an advanced degree earn much more during their lifetimes than those who don't. By the time you graduate, you'll be prepared to deal with lots of responsibility, which results in a more fulfilling career. Ultimately you can find success by working or entering grad school after attaining your undergrad degree. You just have to determine the path best taken in your situation.

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