Why I’m not Going to Grad School

A lot of people have asked if I’m planning to go to grad school lately. While I applaud those who have chosen that path (and there seems to be a lot of people my age who have) there are several reasons why I feel it’s just not right for me.

                    1. It's all about the money.
                      Many people I talk to say grad school is their back-up plan in case they lose their job. Maybe I’m a cynic, but I don’t see how this is realistic. Most 20-somethings already have a hard time managing student loans, car payments, cell phone bills and let’s not forget, credit cards. Grad school is expensive. The economy is bad, and let’s face it we’re getting paid crap. Grad school doesn’t seem like a smart financial decision.

                    2. Who’s going to hire me?
                      Before you start lecturing me on all the professions that require a Master’s degree please, read further. I understand some professions require a higher degree of learning. Doctors for instance, but I’m working in the ad and PR agency world. In my world, a Master’s degree means my employer has to pay me more than someone else at the same experience level. Employers are trying to keep costs low. If it comes down to two people with the same level of experience and similar backgrounds… Sorry, but I think the bachelor’s degree gets the job.

                    3. What’s the value?
                      Again, while I applaud those with Master’s degrees, I simply fail to see the overall value. For PR professionals in the corporate or not-for-profit world a Master’s degree might be useful. For PR professionals on the agency side, I think an APR accreditation is more valuable. By now you may think I’m just lazy. That’s not true. I simply would rather work towards my APR, and be recognized by people in my industry than an educational institution. And yeah, it doesn’t hurt that an APR is much less expensive.

                    I’m sure there are many arguments that can be made on behalf of grad schools everywhere, but for me, getting a few more years experience and becoming APR accredited is of greater importance.

                    As a side note, if you really want to feel awful about the money you’ve “wasted” on college read this article from Gawker, “College: Waste of Time.”

                    Do you agree? Disagree? I’d be interested in hearing what others think on this topic, especially if you work in upper management. Which do you value more? A Master’s degree or APR? Who are you more likely to hire?


                    All things being equal, who is more valuable? The undergrad with 4 years of job experience or the costly graduate with none? I can see how those not gainfully employed right now would opt for grad school. Yes it's more money, but I know many people who are squirreling themselves behind books hoping to come out on the other side when the economy turns around. As a marketing director, all things being equal, it would cost me less and get me more to hire the undergrad.

                    July 9, 2009 at 1:29 PM  

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