This is a post by Nelson, a staff writer on ThirtySixMonths. For those who know me, know that I have my MSc. in Micro Biology and
quit took a break from my PhD program halfway through. I haven’t done a single thing in that field ever.
Congratulations, young meat, you’ve finally waded your way through the unwashed masses of the zombies in undergrad, completing four years of
hardcore drinking arduous studying. Here’s a fancy sheet of paper to hang on the wall. Hopefully, if you picked your major well, that sheet of paper is the ticket to a cushy life of higher wages and minions to do your bidding. Now it’s time to go get a job, slugger.
But wait. You don’t want to get a job, do you? Life at university is pretty awesome. People look at you funny in the real world when you get a little toasted on a Thursday night. Showing up to class in your PJ’s isn’t a big deal in college, but try doing that in the working world (unless you’re a mattress tester, except that job doesn’t really exist). School is a comfortable place, filled with attractive members of the opposite sex, like-minded people, delicious comfort food, and access to all the reefer you could ever smoke. Not that you would, but you like having the option.
Good news, perpetual adolescent, you don’t have to leave the comfy confines of your university campus. You can just go to grad school!
Because why would you want to go out and get a job when you can delay reality a little longer and study some more? Sure, you’ll only make yourself marginally more employable, but why worry about that? College is for learning and learning only, don’t worry about the return on investment. You’ll just confuse your brain. I mean, you could figure it out, because you’re college educated, but you just choose not to.
What’s that? Job prospects aren’t so good for someone with your undergrad degree? Why, if only there was something you could have done about that four years ago. Okay, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you were steered in the wrong direction by an overzealous guidance counsellor or a parent pushing their unfulfilled dreams onto you. You picked a poor earning degree four years ago, and going to grad school will help correct that wrong. Because if there’s one thing that Starbucks needs, it’s another barista with a masters in women’s studies. Oh, I’m sorry. Getting your graduate degree will set you up for many awesome jobs. Like maybe teaching people about your chosen field. If you’re lucky. Wow, the sky really is the limit.
Sure, you could just consider the last four years a sunk cost and go out into the working world, but come on. That would only help you financially and probably mentally. Because if there’s one thing a new college graduate knows, it’s how it feels to hold down a full time job for years. Dealing with office politics, angry bosses, dissatisfied customers and TPS reports wouldn’t teach you a thing that you couldn’t learn in grad school by becoming an expert on a small slice of subject matter. No, you better stay in school and continue to bone up on something that, chances are, has become kinda boring at this point.
I get it. By not pursuing grad school, there’s no chance you’re going to find a job using your psychology or history degree. You’re admitting that the last four years were a colossal waste of time the minute you start applying for jobs at Walmart and the post office. So rather than moving on and maybe exploring a viable career that doesn’t require 4 years of education to get into, you’re going to go even further in debt to satisfy some intellectual curiosity you might have. Even though there are hundreds of jobs that are in demand that you could easily branch into. You’ve already determined you’re a good student, now maybe it’s time to learn something that will actually get you a job.
Or, you could go ahead and delay reality for a little longer while going to grad school. If you’re in one of the few fields where the extra education will make a difference in your earning power, take some time and seriously consider whether the return on investment makes sense. If you’re a women’s studies major, don’t even bother. Getting out into the workforce and earning money to pay back their loans should be that person’s first priority.