Completing a grad degree has many rewards, as indicated in our post last week.
However, there are also many reasons not to go.
Grad school can be...
1. Highly competitive. Graduate programs always have fewer spots than undergraduate programs. There's competition for seats, research positions, grant money, and often as a result, departmental politics.
2. An excuse not to leave school if one is afraid of entering the workforce.
3. A challenge to one's ability to set priorities.
4. A strain on relationships. You might be offered a grad/research assistant position and free tuition, but your spouse will have to fend for him or herself in a geographical area away from home.
5. Stressful, as grad work can take 2–7 years of your life. Not everyone finds they can complete an MA degree in the typical one or two years and a Phd can take many more years. Personal obligations often intrude, or lack of finances makes it difficult. Or your supervisor doesn't like your research.
6. Expensive. Graduate schools can be very expensive. If you are not going to work during your studies, or will not receive an assistant job and waived tuition fees, the cost of your education is going to mount and the debt might push you into accepting any job after graduation, out of necessity.
7. An obstacle if you appear to be too qualified for a lower level job. During an economic downturn, should you find yourself looking for employment, having an advanced degree can be a problem. You might hear, "sorry, you're overqualified."
Feeling overwhelmed? We have drop-in hours every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4. A career counselor can help you work through all your concerns!
Adapted from http://www.petersons.com/graduate-schools/guide-students-graduate-school.aspx