Graduates face career decisions

The decision to attend graduate school or enter the workplace is one that many students face. With the present job market, graduate school seems like the top choice.

According to, about two-thirds of students are choosing to get postgraduate degrees.

“Going straight into grad school is a better idea, because it’s good to get your education completed and over with,” said Karen Hunte, 22, a counseling education graduate student from Miami. Hunte said graduate school gives students time to get grounded in their craft or field of study.

While some students are certain that graduate school is right for them, others choose to enter the working world after college.

“Students who work a year or two before going to graduate school have a better desire to obtain an advanced degree,” said Linda Knight, director of Fellowship Programs and Recruitment in the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. “They have experienced some of the ups and downs of the real world.”

Joseph Sturgess, 26, a broadcast journalism graduate student from Chicago agrees.

“Working before grad school is a benefit,” Sturgess said. “It makes you more structured, and you have a better work ethic because you have that real world experience.”

Sturgess, who graduated with a degree in engineering, realized after a few years that engineering wasn’t his dream career.

“I chose to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism because it can make a meaningful impact on the community and allows me to be more creative,” Sturgess said. “Engineering didn’t do that for me.”

Knight said students need to do their research about requirements and be aware of exams such as the Graduate Record Examination, Law School Admission Test and Graduate Management Admission Test

“A bachelor’s degree is becoming what a high-school diploma was 20 years ago; it opens the door,” Knight said. “An advanced degree is important Obtaining that advanced degree can make up to a $5,000 difference in your yearly salary.”.

Courtney Jackson can be reached at