Seven reasons defending grad school, and why they are wrong

Published: Monday, Oct. 15 2012 8:09 a.m. MDT

Graduate school in a field outside of the sciences may take time and money that you could be using on other resources to get the same results.

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Graduate school in a field outside of the sciences may take time and money that you could be using on other resources to get the same results, according to Penelope Trunk, founder of Brazen Careerist.

Following are seven common reasons people give for going to grad school for a non-science degree, along with Trunk’s reasoning as to why they are wrong.

1. “My parent’s pay for it.”

You would get more real-world experience if they bought a small company instead, even if it fails.

2. “It’s free.”

But it still takes time, it’d be like an unpaid internship that doesn’t teach skills that are relevant to your field.

3. “It gives me time to get to know myself.”

Therapy can provide the same result, and it’s covered by insurance. Grad school is not.

4. “The degree makes me stand out”

Hardly any jobs outside of the science field require a graduate degree. Employers might think you were afraid you couldn’t cut it in the field, so you went to grad school instead.

5. “I want to become a teacher.”

Using a humanities degree to find a teaching job is next to impossible, even at community colleges.

6. “A grad degree eases job searching”

Not only does a degree make it look like you would rather earn grades than money, but it hasn’t specifically prepared you for the job to which you’re applying.

7. “There’s more to life than having a job”

Careers are about providing for yourself, which is part of adulthood. Also, grad school is nothing like your career, so you might hate it when you go into the field.

EMAIL: sparker@desnews.com

TWITTER: @SeanRParker

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