Graduate School? Or More Work Experience?

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Graduate School? Or More Work Experience?

Anna Hicks is a freelance writer who normally writes on the topics of personal finance and sometimes about education. Anna has been writing online for quite some time and on many topics. Whether her articles are on balancing a budget or finding your ideal interior design schools she is always writing. You can read more writing by Anna at

After a few years working in the commercial field, many workers consider returning to graduate school. While there are benefits to furthering one's education, there are some drawbacks as well. Further, time spent on the job is worthwhile as well, as experience makes a major difference in many fields. Deciding which path to take can be a challenge. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider.

Reasons to Go Back to School:
Advanced degrees can make a big difference in some fields. Those with a bachelor's degree in psychology, for example, may have trouble finding good jobs, and attaining a master's degree can open up doors. Workers in these fields should strongly consider returning to school if their financial situations can support it.

Education can also help graduates perform better work; those stuck in a dead-end work situation may find that the skills learned in graduate school help them break through. Some also enjoy the learning experience, and returning to school later in life may not be as practical as returning while young.

Additionally, advanced degrees open the door to a future in academia, which some may find appealing.

Reasons to Continue Working:
In some fields, an advanced degree makes little difference. Professional programmers will benefit more from having a stronger resume and more work experience than attaining a graduate degree. Workers who are having considerable success and attaining promotions will likely benefit more from climbing the workplace ladder as quickly as possible; leaving to attend school will interrupt this process, and it may be difficult to recover in the future.

Those who miss learning new subjects may be better served by staying at their current job and taking courses from websites such as instead.

Other Considerations:
Returning to school may not be practical at certain stages in one's life. Taking out more loans, for example, may be too crippling to justify a small pay increase. Workers with families will need to consider the burden that returning to school will place on them.

School often requires work during evenings and over the weekend; this schedule may not be realistic for some. Another option to consider is evening and weekend courses while continuing to work.

Online resources can help workers considering a return to school decide whether the long-term benefits are worth the short-term costs. It is equally important, however, to decide what one's ultimate goals are. If the commercial workforce seems like a reasonable place to stay, working may be best; if a career in academia seems more appealing, returning to school might be the best option.