As an undergraduate student spending grueling hours studying, attending events for potential networking opportunities, and writing long papers into the wee hours of the morning, do you ever stop to think that once you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree you may not be employed as soon as you would hope?
The job market isn’t at its pinnacle. Finding part-time jobs to pay for basic necessities like food, gas and phone bills is difficult. It’s even harder to find permanent full-time work, especially when companies are firing employees who have worked with them for years.
With the harsh reality of graduating with no set job opportunities, more graduates are applying to graduate school.
“We don’t really ask why they’re coming to graduate school,” said Verian Thomas, interim dean for Graduate Studies at FAMU. “One can assume the economy is a reason and to be more prepared for employment and eligible for a better salary. Students realize they need to be better qualified for the workforce.”
Some students believe attending graduate school will enhance their resumes and make them more desirable to potential employers. However, some students end up placing themselves in more debt by continuing their education.
Students are required to pay back loans whether they have a job post-graduation or not, and a higher paying job, or the security of having employment, isn’t guaranteed.
“It’s been immanent that you make more money, but you have to pay a lot more money to make that money,” said Christopher Glenn, a 24-year-old FAMU alumnus who attended graduate school at American Intercontinental University. “I actually went to grad school because I knew it was something I had to do to utilize my degree.”
Graduate school is much more demanding and tuition is much more expensive. And time spent in the classroom can prevent you from gaining more on-the-job experience.
“I’m thinking about going to grad school, but I don’t know,” said Alana Wilcox, 20, a nursing student from Jacksonville. “I’ve already been in school practically my entire life. And the way the job market looks, I don’t know if I’ll get that much further ahead with a master’s degree.”