Graduate school is a huge investment, and the opportunity cost can be high for going. Is graduate school worth the effort? What are the pros and cons for going? First, let’s start with the drawbacks.
Drawbacks and disadvantages (Cons) for going to grad school
- You’ll likely be living the poor life for several years. Compared to working for a company, grad school tends to be far less lucrative. Money should definitely not be the main incentive for going.
- High stress. Homework, research, presentations, conferences, networking with professors, etc.
- It is a big commitment. In terms of timing, you might not be at a good place to dedicate your life to such a big undertaking, depending on the things going on in your life (e.g. other priorities in your current stage of life)
These are some pretty unattractive drawbacks. However, the good news is that there are many advantages and benefits to completing a graduate degree. These include the following:
Benefits and advantages (Pros) for going to grad school
- You’ll have access to brilliant, intellectual minds like never before in your life. Very smart people will become your colleagues, mentors, and collaborators.
- It can open up some new opportunities. A graduate degree can open up new career possibilities, such as teaching, consulting firms, research groups, etc. The experience itself can open up new life opportunities that otherwise would be unattainable.
- It can provide credentials for work.
- A great deal of flexibility related to lifestyle. Those who dislike the rigidity of and 8 to 5 job may find the flexibility of academia to be very satisfying.
- Open-ended freedom in subject matter. Unlike the corporate world where a manager may give you projects that you have zero interest in, grad school allows you to study what you want to study.
- Deeply rewarding to be able to seek answers to questions that matter to you.
Well, what do you think? You will need to weigh these pros and cons before ultimately taking the plunge to graduate school. It’s a big commitment not to take lightly. Hopefully this little article has given you some things to consider.