The New Graduate Decision: Work Or More Education?

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As the academic school year comes to an end, there is now a surplus of college graduate, however, with the instability of today’s economy and job market many graduates are left with few options.

The biggest question many graduates seem to be facing is whether or not they should continue their education due to the lack of jobs or if they should find jobs outside of their fields of study and gain work experience.

There really is no one right answer to this question, and in many cases it depends upon the individuals own personal situation.

Here are some opinions from some experts in education and the economy:

Marney Cox of the San Diego Association of Governments suggests that recent graduates do not continue onto graduate school if their only reason for doing so is the inability to land a job in their specific field of study. Cox takes an economists approach to this solution by considering the benefits and costs at the margin, and the opportunity costs at hand.

Lynn Reaser of Point Loma Nazarene University suggests that a continued education could give you a competitive edge once an advanced degree is obtained. However, she also suggests considering your financial situation as well and the factor of student loans and debt.

Kelly Cunningham of the National University System advises against continuing an advanced education unless you have clear professional goals and a commitment to the area of study. Graduate school is time consuming process and can be very costly.  Without dedication and commitment, other options may better suit your situation. Cunningham highlights the benefits of real world work experience and the value of unpaid internships as a way of gauging and finding your own affinity.

What do you think?

Should new graduates continue on to higher education or should they integrate themselves immediately in the job market?

Photo by Jawed Karim via Wikimedia Commons

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