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I have been in school for most of my life, and I can safely say it is the life I am most accustomed to. Having studied in different schools and different countries, I do have many different kinds of experience as a student. Higher education is so important to the future and mental health to the people who are lucky enough to experience it. As much as I love the learning process and the great opportunities they can unlock; I am sad to see fellow students miss opportunities to take advantage of their academic situation.
Most people agree that it is important for students to go to a graduate school after they graduated from college, but some people think that students should attend some social activities or intern in a company before they go to a graduate school. In my opinion, undergraduate students should go to a graduate school immediately after they graduated from college. I want to be clear that the students I am talking about are those who can afford to continue their schooling.
I understand some students are forced to leave school for financial reasons. I can think of a few people I know personally who only had enough funds for a few more years and wanted to intern at a company that will give them a position after that time. I am not advocating education over survival.
That being said, I believe they should continue their education immediately if they could afford to. As far as education goes, a student is much more primed to absorb information. Being a student isn’t simply an occupation. It is a lifestyle that comes with a lot of habits that were painstakingly developed through the life of the young adult. People tend to get “lazy” when they give up their academic rigor. This also means it will be much harder for them to come back to school after a year of work.
Here I would like to point out that I do not think it is ever too late to go to graduate school. For some people, four years is not enough time to figure out an area of study that they can be passionate about. I also think there are situations where a student needs to spend some time away from a subject to get a better perspective on how they should continue their studies. I simply want to point out how being involved with an internship for an extended period can be disruptive to a person’s education.
A student is also likely to give up valuable relationships when they leave school. I can think of a few cases where a student was able to get the job they wanted because of their relationship with their professors. A letter of recommendation is a very powerful tool for the students, and the associated professors tend to give them out sparingly. My friend Tina is a good example. She studied Hospitality Management at Boston University, and she applied to continue study hospitality as a graduate student when she was a senior student.
Half a year after she studied in graduate school, her professor who knew her since her freshmen year offered the chance to interview in The Ritz-Carlton, which is a famous luxury hotel. She told me that she wanted to go work for a year before she went to graduate school. However, if she went to work, she would lose the interview opportunity. Now, she is about the last semester of graduate school, and she will work in The Ritz-Carlton after she graduated.
Everything has a connection, the more time a student spends in school, the better chance they have at creating connections to their favorite professors. Relationships with other students are also important. I believe friends who forged their friendship in classes together put many businesses together. I also think that being among your peers is a very mentally comfortable experience that will become rarer as a person’s career advances.
Going straight into a Graduate program also offers other benefits besides pure education. Staying in school also gives a young person more opportunities to discover and select a focus that will best fit them. I had a roommate called Carol, who was also passionate about studying hospitality. Even though she was a very good student, throughout her undergraduate studies, she realized this is not what she would like to do for the rest of her life. This was a discovery she had to have made herself and had she gone straight into the employment field in hospitality, she may have been stuck doing a job she hated for a long time. However, she could choose a different major in graduate school, and she will find a job that she likes finally.
An early Graduate degree is also great for furthering a person’s overall career. The early you get your master’s degree, the early you plan for your future. We are living in a dynamic social/economic climate and having the right skills is very time-sensitive. Graduate school can prepare a person better for applying their skills; it is more professional, and the studies are more focused. Students can use their knowledge in a much more active way. I think the time spent in a more intensive educational atmosphere is also a great opportunity to develop enough more good habits. A student will have to develop more discipline when he/she knows there are now people counting on them. It is qualities like this that make a student attractive to companies.
I am not adverse to a student taking an internship or engaging in social activities. Being put on the field is a great way to develop skills in ways that are not available in school. It is especially important for students who come from overseas. I know many students who came from China and had a hard time adjusting to the change in environment. It is not simply the language barrier. I think the culture shift has caused many promising students to become introverts and shy away from the people they live around. I believe culture must be experienced and can only be learned through time. I am not against people who can go to school and be in an internship at the same time.
For many students who come from other countries, school is all they know. That being the case, I think it is important for them to make the most of their time. I can understand the excitement students feel when it comes to experiencing their first real-life work environment, but it is important not to forget what they might be giving up. I would like to do further research in this area to see if continued education is good not only for a student’s career but for their overall happiness.
One of the advantages of pursuing a master’s degree is the fact that one gets to specialize in a given discipline. The undergraduate school provides general background information in different disciplines, but the graduate school often provides students with an opportunity to specialize in a distinct area of study. This implies that graduate school provides students with the opportunity to become the best professionals in the subjects they choose.
For instance, a lawyer from the graduate school may have the required general knowledge in a given legal field, but a master’s degree holder may have specialized in a specific field; thus making him or her more reliable than the undergraduate degree holder. This translates to the master’s degree holders having a higher chance of getting job opportunities than the undergraduate degree holders (“Why Pursue a Master’s Degree?” par. 3). Additionally, a graduate school may also present a chance for a student to gain more knowledge in a subject of interest. Not all people who pursue a master’s degree are motivated by the enhancement of the chance of getting a job: some people just want to gain more knowledge in a given subject.
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While most people claim that graduate school takes too much time and delays other social and economic factors in an individual’s life, it is apparent that a student takes up more than a quarter of their life studying through to undergraduate school. Graduate school takes about three years, which is quite a short period that would help an individual to become better in their careers regarding professionalism. Quitting school at the end of the undergraduate level may be influenced by financial and social pressures, but one needs to attain perfection in one career by acquiring specialized education in graduate school.
While critics claim that some master’s degrees are not worth the investment financially, it is apparent that they give the individual the satisfaction of having studied a given discipline comprehensively. It is apparent that graduate school education is always better than the education provided in undergraduate school (“Why Pursue a Master’s Degree?” par. 3). This is particularly true when one considers the fact that undergraduate school education is characterized by the presence of more general education courses than major subjects. Graduate school, on the other hand, is associated with the development of special education on the majors that the students find interesting.
The good thing about graduate school is that students get to choose the specific doctrines they need to study. While the general education course at the undergraduate level might be important in providing general knowledge to the students, they are also quite irrelevant for students with specific career goals. For instance, law students in graduate school are only provided with information on the law, rather than wasting time on other disciplines that might not help their pursuit of excellence in the legal field.
Many students are aware that the higher the level of education that one acquires, the more job opportunities in the employment market that the individual can access. It is also apparent that individuals with a higher level of education are associated with the ability to assume leadership functions in different professions, which facilitates the implementation of changes that they may have always wanted to make. Such individuals may have the chance to work in different departments in an organization depending on their preferences because they are normally qualified to handle different tasks in the workflow.
Additionally, since the employment market has been facing challenges across the globe, especially for white-collar jobs, a master’s degree holder may have a better chance of becoming self-employed through the development of innovative ideas based on the knowledge acquired in graduate school (Torpey and Terrell par. 4). Graduate school provides students with knowledge aligned to the challenges facing modern society; thus, preparing students to become innovative entrepreneurs. There is also a sense of self-fulfillment that is associated with being a holder of a master’s degree in a given subject. Not only does it build confidence in handling the tasks associated with the degree, but it also gives an individual the satisfaction of knowing that they are adequately knowledgeable in the associated fields.
Some professions have been associated with a large number of professionals with an undergraduate degree. This has led to the development of a trend in employment that entails the employers hiring by considering the experience level of the applicants, rather than the weight of their undergraduate degrees. In such cases, a holder of a master’s degree has the ultimate opportunity to get the job because employers are aware that graduate students are highly knowledgeable (Torpey and Terrell par. 4).
Additionally, since the education in graduate school is specific regarding various fields and disciplines, graduate students have a higher chance of getting employment in positions that require specific educational qualifications. Graduate school education is, therefore, a worthy investment if the individuals involved are looking to compete for employment opportunities in a field involved with a high number of professionals from undergraduate school.
Different companies have different remuneration strategies for the employees based on their level of education and the tasks they handle in the workflow. However, most companies provide better salaries to the most educated human assets as an appreciation of the hard work and long time spent in school. It is also apparent that holders of a master’s degree are paid better than their counterparts with undergraduate degrees; hence, going to graduate school is quite rewarding later in life (Stillman par. 3). The financial constraints associated with going to graduate school might be a discouraging factor for many students, but the economic liberation that follows after getting through graduate school should be a motivating factor. Most people go to school to ensure that they acquire well-paying jobs, and a master’s degree enhances the chances of getting such a job.
Influencing Intellectual Growth
Graduate school is not always about students being provided with the available information on a given discipline. Students in graduate school are often provided with challenging issues in society to find possible solutions through the application of the available information and their respective ideas. Graduate school provides the opportunity for students to develop concepts that might enhance the knowledge of students in the future in the respective disciplines. Students in graduate school have been associated with the development of innovative ideas that have revolutionized intellectual disciplines through the development of independent studies (Stillman par. 4).
Most of the time in graduate school is spent in practicing and researching different concepts regarding modern society and its challenges; thus, students have the chance of contributing to the development of solutions that might be affecting the global society. This is an opportunity that is not available in undergraduate schools; hence, it is advisable for students with the required financial power to go to graduate school.
Stillman, Jessica. 10 Careers Where a Master’s Degree Pays Off, 2011. Web.
Torpey, Elka, and Dalton Terrell. Should I Get a Master’s Degree? 2015. Web.
Why Pursue a Master’s Degree? 2015. Web.