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Has anyone's parents made them work before going to grad school?

RacquetSmasher76RacquetSmasher76 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
As opposed to going straight through? Especially for CS, if you want to get a MS/PhD.

Replies to: Has anyone's parents made them work before going to grad school?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,160 Senior Member
    Since PhD programs in CS are typically funded, why would it matter what your parents' preferences are after you complete your BA/BS?

    Of course, keeping both options open may be helpful, because you may not necessarily get a job offer or PhD program admission that you like.
  • RacquetSmasher76RacquetSmasher76 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    I don't know that I'll get into one:
    1) My current CGPA is a 3.26
    2) I'm only starting research this year, and I'll have only 3-4 semesters worth by the time I do apply (if I do apply straight to PhD programs). If not, they aren't convinced for funding my MS studies.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 35,290 Senior Member
    It is their money. I can see how they might want you to gain some work experience before they spring for a masters (if they are willing at all - I won’t for my kids). If you don’t get an adequate GPA as an undergrad to get into a PhD program, they might be (rightly) concerned that your grades in a masters program also might not be great.

    I’d say you should grind out better grades. As a CS major, you could easily take a year to work after graduating, and thus have your full 4 years of grades for PhD apps. If you want a masters, you could likely work a couple years and save up some of what you need. Maybe your parents want you to stand on your own financially after getting your undergrad degree. My kids were expected to.
  • RacquetSmasher76RacquetSmasher76 Registered User Posts: 191 Junior Member
    In the case of working between undergrad and grad school, how should one maintain their academic references for when they do apply? And is it a good idea to accept a job offer, if it eventually happens, knowing I'll leave a year or so later?
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,893 Senior Member
    Employees often only work for a year or two for their first employer.

    When you are out of school for a couple of years, you write them an email asking for a letter and listing in bullet form your academic accomplishments and descriptions of your grades in that profs classes and other info about you they might remember ( like what your major project was about for that class.). Also send a link to your Linkedin site so they can see your photo and learn about what you are up to.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 4,548 Senior Member
    I worked for two years between undergrad and grad school. I think that it was very beneficial to me, and made me a much better student when I did go back to grad school (and my grades in grad school reflected this). I am pretty sure that my wife did the same thing.

    When I applied to grad school, my references were from where I was working, and were probably very helpful in getting me accepted. If you are working in CS, then you are likely to have an employer who knows how to write a good reference.

    With a GPA of 3.26, you might need to go for a master's before a PhD, and hope that you can pull up your GPA. You might also want to try to pull up your GPA for the rest of your undergrad if you can.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,160 Senior Member
    If you have 3-4 more semesters left, you need to use them to get better grades (in your more important upper level CS courses) and get research experience and recommendations, if you want to go on to PhD study.

    Otherwise, it is likely to be a better idea to go into the workforce than to attend an MA/MS program paid for by you and your parents.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,962 Senior Member
    You can discuss recommendations before you graduate, when your record is strong. Then stay in touch with these folks.

    If you're graduating from college, mature and independent, you'll manage your own grad school costs. This may mean working first, if you dont qualify for major grants. If you want to control your own decisions, be independent.
  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers Registered User Posts: 3,081 Senior Member
    Are parents still doing ANYthing for their kids at grad-school age???


    I assumed that adulting was happening by then.
  • TQfromtheUTQfromtheU Registered User Posts: 1,343 Senior Member
    Add me to the chorus. Make me? I got married the day after I finished my undergrad degree and figured out how to pay for the wedding and for graduate school two+ year later.

    If you don't understand their plan for you, ask them directly if they plan to help you or if they are expecting you to work and carry this cost later.
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,550 Super Moderator
    Working between undergrad and graduate school is VERY common. Even at top liberal arts colleges, it's not uncommon for only 30-40% of the class to go to graduate school after college, and at most colleges the percentage is a lot lower (a LOT). Not everyone needs a graduate degree, and many students haven't quite figured out exactly what they want to do and thus what they even need a graduate degree IN.

    A lot of affluent parents pay for their children's graduate school education. Most parents don't have the kind of resources to do that, but something I discovered when attending an elite graduate school (where a disproportionate number of students came from wealthy backgrounds) is that it's actually relatively common for wealthy/affluent parents to pay for at least a significant portion of their children's grad school education. I had friends whose parents were paying for their entire medical school or MBA education, living expenses included. I also had friends who were in PhD programs but whose parents were supplementing their living expenses, making it possible for them to have families and/or live more extravagant lives than the rest of us.

    It doesn't make you less "adult" because your parents want to give you the gift of financial assistance after you graduate from college. Lots of grown adults get financial assistance from a variety of sources. If anything, your parents are trying to help you avoid the debt that many of us carry, which may delay other things like buying a house, getting married, or having children, or may require you to take a job you enjoy less but that pays more. If they're willing to give you the support and you have no objections to it, *shrug* that's not bad.

    The problem is when the support comes with strings attached. I personally think this is a pretty mild one (in fact, working for a few years before getting an MS may be a good idea in many fields - CS, I think, is one of them) but that's besides the point. As an adult, YOU get to decide when you go to graduate school and what's best for your career. That may mean forfeiting the financial support from your parents if you don't like their terms, or if you realize that their terms are unrealistic/not best for your career.
  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing Forum Champion Williams College Posts: 1,856 Forum Champion
    Our kid is a college freshman, so we are not sure. He will work in between college and grad school either if he wants to work for the experience and a change of pace, OR if we cannot afford his grad school costs without his working.

    In our case, it will depend on the type of grad school chosen by our son, how much it will cost, what type of aid comes with it, how much aid he gets from his undergrad institution during his senior year of college, and what types of loans we are able to get from a bank or credit union as his parents.

    We would like to pay it all for him, but frankly, we may not be able to do so. Most of our savings will have gone into his undergrad experience.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 29,962 Senior Member
    edited October 9
    Not sure how this evolved into a thread about wealthy parents gifting money in lots of ways. Many would like to see their son/dau qualified for the next large expense. And where grants are common, that their kiddo is of the caliber to get that.

    OP's GPA isn't tops. This shouldn't be about, "My grades won't get me a hot job, so I'll just go for an advanced degree...yeah, that's the ticket."

    And if a kid is struggling for a B+, I'm not sure a quick jump to grad school is wise, whether she's competitively prepared. But all this is not something to decide today. If she's got 3-4 semesters before applying.

    If you don't want your parents involved, don't depend on them.
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