Graduate School: Will it help or hinder? Is it even worth it?

By Jordan Freels

To accomplish completing your undergraduate degree is a tremendous feat, but then what’s next? Some choose to take the next step and attend graduate school, but where to go? Would you stay in the state wherever you received your bachelor’s degree to attend graduate school, or would you choose to travel out of state to explore all you could not as an undergrad? Would you leave the U.S. and study aboard? Decisions, decisions…graduate school seems just as tedious as undergrad but there are just as many intellectual programs offered on the graduate level compared to undergraduate.

What if you were unsure of where to go? According to About.com’s article, Top New Jersey Colleges: 15 of the Top Colleges in New Jersey these five graduate schools are considered among the top schools in New Jersey: The College of New Jersey, Drew University, Georgian Court University, Monmouth University, and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Further, About.com says, “The schools were chosen based on a variety of factors such as academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, graduation rates, selectivity, financial aid and student engagement.”

Although these institutions all offer different master’s programs these Universities have all given young adults the chance to further their education and becoming that much closer in working in a field that they love. While some may feel that earning just a bachelor’s degree is good enough, sometimes one must take that extra step to outshine their competitor to receive that ‘dream job.’ Having a masters and bachelors looks better than not having anything, but even for those whom college may not be ‘for them,’ have still become successful in some way, shape or form.

So will not having a master’s degree hinder or help you? It is a possibility, but you must be able to sell yourself to future employers to guarantee yourself a job. Graduate schools are another opportunity for one to excel more possibly with the degree they already have, or to branch off into another field, but either way, a master’s gives someone an opportunity they may not have had.

The schools above are institutions that have set their standards high. As Above.com mentioned, these schools were picked base off of certain factors, and while these standards are all individually different, collectively, graduate schools look at candidates for no other reason but for them to further their education, and then graduate. Graduate schools give students another chance to expand and grow as an individual, although it’s costly, the experience one will have, and all that they’ll learn will help them ‘in the real world.’ ‘A world,’ that may not accept them because their degree may not guarantee them a job, so they have no other option but to settle for something different.

These graduate schools are all great institutions, but for some-one who may not be a business major, or who may not have an interest in technology, may not attend NJIT for example, and the degrees they earn may not work for the job they want. So is earning a graduate degree worth it? Or shall you earn a degree and work in a totally different field, possibly making more money than what you would have if you had a job with the degree you earned?