Who Should Go to Graduate School?

Blind faith in the power of a degree that starts with an “M” in has its consequences. In the San Francisco ChronicleErin Joyce refutes some of the common reasons why people seek graduate degrees, such as:

  • Not getting your dream job

  • Not sure of the next step

  • Blindly applied and got in

  • Friends are going

When I ask a group of business students to raise their hands if they are planning to go to graduate school, at least half usually will. When I follow that question with, “How long should you wait before applying?” the common answer is two years. 

Many well-intentioned students forget their Economics 101 lessons on opportunity costs. How much work experience is forgone while seeking that coveted master’s degree? 

Being over-educated and inexperienced is rough, especially in a down job market. Such individuals think that they are worth a higher salary than they will command, and their master’s degree can create an artificial floor on how low on the organization chart they are willing to start their career.

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