I recently came across two different articles that I wanted to share with you regarding education and the career value of graduate school. This one from the Daily Beast, Why a BA is Now a Ticket to A Job in a Coffee Shop and a recent Wall Street Journal article about the value of a law degree, Law Schools and Other Shameless Schemes . This is a touchy topic and there are varying strong opinions out there.
I do believe in the value of higher education and a degree. What I want is for people to evaluate it for their situation and their goals, because the value of it can vary widely based on these two things. We need to look at it on a case by case basis though, and we should just make generalizations about it.
I would encourage students or potential students to take a hard look at that higher degree, and evaluate it before they make any decisions. But don’t discount the value of it off the cuff. If that degree is exactly what you need in order to get into your desired profession, you definitely should find a way to do it that is financially feasible for you. You just need to evaluate it just like you would any other investment you are making, wisely and methodically.
Three factors that you want to consider for your evaluating your decision are:
Finances – Can you afford it and which program can you afford?
Remember these days there are certificates out there, online education and more options than there used to be. You want to consider finances, but you also want to consider what you are getting for that as well.
Reputation – What’s the reputation of the school you are looking at?
Will it be valued within your industry or not? If not, look elsewhere. You can find out if it’s valued by talking to people in the industry and surveying them to get the industry perspective.
Career Value – Is a degree or certificate the only way to get your foot in the door?
If it’s too expensive for you to consider, and there are other ways to gain experience or education, do those instead.
Again talk to people in the industry (informational interviews) to find out more. Talk to the school, what do their gradutes do with their degree, and how many of them get jobs right after school?
If you’d like more help with your career direction, please contact us today for a complimentary consultation.
Ideal Career Coach
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