Navigating Your Future – Apply to Grad School or Look For a Job?

So you just finished your undergraduate degree, many congratulations!! What a fantastic accomplishment!! Now it is time to consider what comes next in your career journey. For many recent graduates, one big question is whether to continue on to graduate school or go directly into the professional world of work.  Here are a few things to reflect on to help with your decision-making.

Let’s start your decision-making process by considering your career goals – Have you reflected on both your short-term and long-term career goals? Do your goals require that you get specific advanced education to move quickly into the career of your choice? For example, if you want to become a therapist, you are required to get a graduate-level degree before you begin to practice counseling. Going directly into a graduate program can help fast-track your career in this instance. Pursuing an advanced degree now may allow for further flexibility in your career options going forward. Additionally, of course, you may choose to pursue a graduate degree because of your passion for a specific subject. When considering pursuing graduate school, be sure to take into account your financial situation, as well as your ability to commit and stay motivated in your advanced program of study.

On the other hand, for other types of career directions, you will want to see what skills you already have developed. Employers are looking to understand what transferable skills and experience you have gained and can use in your chosen field.  Also, moving directly into work can help you develop your overall professionalism and learn how workplaces operate. An example of this would be if you choose to go into a business field such as marketing or sales. Businesses in general are more interested in your ability to practically apply your background. Furthermore, some people choose to go directly into work as an opportunity to get exposure to a career, culture, environment, or industry. This is a good strategy if you are unsure about your career direction. It can be very helpful in determining your longer-range goals and may be helpful in deciding what graduate program you might want to pursue later on.

When reviewing your career goals and what your next potential steps will be, always be clear on your own personal motivation and direction. As you will be the one committed to making things happen, it is best that it originate from your own desires and choices. The Career Education team is always available to help you with your decision-making process and setting up your short and long-term goals.  You can make an appointment to meet with someone through Handshake.

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