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How Many of You Have Seniors Choosing to go to Grad School Instead of the Job Market?

Just_A_MomJust_A_Mom 120 replies21 threads Junior Member
edited January 2008 in Parents Forum
Just wondering. Mine, after much soul searching this summer, decided on pursuing grad studies saying it is going to be now or never! Of her engineering graduating class of close to 100, only 2 are going to grad school. Are some of you seeing this too? Does this mean the job market is pretty good at this time?
edited January 2008
27 replies
Post edited by Just_A_Mom on
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Replies to: How Many of You Have Seniors Choosing to go to Grad School Instead of the Job Market?

  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    I have one, a computer science major. Most of his classmates are going into the job market instead, and many already have jobs lined up.

    My son's rationale is similar to your daughter's -- he feels that it's now or never. And he, too, went through a lot of soul searching before making his decision.

    He's interested in research (he has been involved in undergraduate research since the middle of his junior year, and he has had two research-oriented internships), and he is aiming for PhD programs. He wants to find out whether a career in research is really for him. He figures that if he took a job now instead of starting graduate school, his career would follow a different path and he would be unlikely to switch gears (and go back to a student's lifestyle) at a later date in order to give grad school a try.

    Makes sense to me. Not that it's really up to me to tell a 21-year-old what to do.
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  • minimini 26167 replies259 threads Senior Member
    Mine has taken a vow of poverty. It's graduate school for her, if she can convince someone to pay for it.
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  • sacsac 1528 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Mine will be choosing grad school if a grad school chooses him. :)

    He's graduating with a liberal arts degree, though heavy in quantitative courses, and realizes he needs to get more specialized coursework if he wants to pursue a quantitative career either in academia or in industry.
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  • The MomThe Mom 406 replies6 threads Member
    My S is only a junior, but has already informed us it is grad school next at a different school. Not really surprised, as he plans to continue in research, and that pretty much requires an advanced degree.
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  • bookwormbookworm 9218 replies74 threads Senior Member
    Nope, mine wants to work for a few years. At first blush, i was upset when he was invited to apply for a major scholarship, and he absolutely did not wish to be in school. He also shifted from CS to consulting, and an Ma in finance could be better fit. Time will tell.

    At the moment, job offers and interviews are his priorities.
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  • somemomsomemom 10999 replies331 threads Senior Member
    Mine has embraced her state of poverty- it is grad school for her, on her own dime (student loans) If things work out, we will likely pay them off after she finishes, but it needs to be her sacrifice making this happen.

    She has completed her first term as a grqad student ans is liking it much better than UG.

    Little sis is thinking med school with maybe a year off for Teach for America to have a bit of a breather.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20946 replies2051 threads Super Moderator
    D is taking a break to work(and save some $$) before going off to law school. She says she has been in school ever since she was 3 years old and thinks that she deserves a little time off.
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  • thisoldmanthisoldman 1026 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Our DS did a few job interviews but had his heart on grad study. I calculate that CMU MechEng '06, half went job, a quarter went 5th year grad school at CMU, and another quarter went grad school at another university. He's off today, on another adventure.
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  • laxmomlaxmom 1435 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Our S is going the grad school route. Filling out the applications now. It's his dime as we paid/are paying for the last 4 years.
    He's an engineering major and feels if he doesn't do it now, he will not have the energy to do it later...
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  • anxiousmomanxiousmom 5859 replies105 threads Senior Member
    Our D is mulling options; applying for travel grant for next year, applying for non-degree seeking admittance to a Univ. for further study in her new language, applying for jobs (I hope) at next job fair. She has not decided what she wants to do post-grad - too many options and choices, so she will probably work for a while until the right choice presents itself.
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  • anotherNJmomanotherNJmom 344 replies1 threads Member
    deleted for double posting.
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  • anotherNJmomanotherNJmom 344 replies1 threads Member
    imo, it mostly depends on what majore you are in and what finantial status you are in.

    The best case would be let your employer pay tuition for you. Of course it depends on you employer's benefit package, but most companies that I worked for provides full or part of tuition reimbursement plan (if your study field is working related). For a CS majore, its not a bad idea to find job first, then do a marster and let the employer share the tuition cost. Years ago, I met newly graduate in my then work place, he said he chose our employer with slightly less salary over another company because our employer promised him immediate tuition reimburse (the other one has to wait 2 years). He ended up work at day, taking night classes from columbia for marster degree. He said $5k before tax money trade for ~$10k employer paid tuition is not a bad deal.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    What anotherNJmom says makes sense for computer science majors who seek a master's degree.

    For those who seek a PhD, as my son does, the situation is different. Employers are rarely willing to pay for that much grad school, and it could take a decade to complete a PhD on a part-time basis.

    However, this doesn't mean that students who want a PhD have to pay for it. Most PhD candidates in well-funded disciplines such as computer science have either teaching or research assistantships, which pay for their tuition and provide a modest stipend for living expenses. They have to live cheaply, but they can survive.
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  • Just_A_MomJust_A_Mom 120 replies21 threads Junior Member
    I agree with you Marian. My daughter is also seeking the PhD and would certainly like to be done with school in 5-6 years. She did not want to work all day, go to school at night, and have no social life. She also felt that she might end up compromising both work and school if she tried to do both together.
    I think young people these days are much more savvy and focussed that I ever was at that age!
    Of course, she will have to be on her own financially (being an engineering major I do hope she gets reasonable financial aid)--we paid for four years of out-of-state tuition, and her college account is defunct!
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  • anotherNJmomanotherNJmom 344 replies1 threads Member
    Yeah, agree with you Marian.

    Actually, nowadays even a CS marster degree in a well funded or not (I have no clue about our state university if its well funded or not) school you can get TA/TR job. Just not as luxious as your average CS graduates salary.

    If my kid wants a PhD, I would prefer him starts as early as possible and be 100% concentrating on it. IMO, the higher degrees on some majores(MBA, Law, etc.) may be best studied with some related working experience. But for most hard core science majores best be studied at young age while you have the best learning ability. Besides, you never know what will happen next in your life, marrige, kids, etc. all could be distracting.....thats what we told our kid, if he wants a PhD after college (I know too early. lol) go for it. Yes for your chosen field you could be a 'poor student' for many many years (they were told this by one of prof he took class from), but you won't be as poor as you dad/mom used to be. Yes, you won't be rich and make a lot money, but you will have a decent and respectable life. We will do our best to help you out if you have any finantial needs. (now after visit so many CC threads, I start wondering if this is good to his development. May be we should just 'dump' him finantially after the under in college, let himself take his own finantial responsibility. Its too late for college application, he dose not 'bother' to look for those good yet not elite yet schools with 'merit' scholarship offering, like a lot of other kids do here)
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  • violinistsviolinists - 85 replies0 threads New Member
    I have two. One immediately started grad school and is getting his MSME in one year. He already has a high paying job starting in July 2008. One benefit is $5500/year towards further study and it is near several universities.

    Son two is receiving a BA Liberal Arts this year. He is taking a year off before going to law school. He also has a job as a law clerk with the DOJ at a shocking salary and very interesting job description, for the following year.

    Both jobs are great locations.

    Parents don't have to cosign Plus loans for grad school.

    There are lots of choices and options. After son borrowed 57K for Master's, I discovered NIH and Army Corps of Engineers would have paid for grad school, but require you work for them to repay the loans. The school he attended had nothing to aid graduate school costs, other than loans.
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  • curiousercuriouser 1342 replies20 threads Senior Member
    D, a biology major, decided against med school but has been accepted for a 3 year Doctoral degree in Physical Therapy where she also plans to complete a Phd. She sees herself going off to help poor children somewhere in the world and ultimately teaching at a university level.

    In the sciences, as another poster pointed out, a terminal degree is a must.
    Unfortunately, the DPT degree is not "funded" and she will be taking out loans of her own for this one.
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  • anotherNJmomanotherNJmom 344 replies1 threads Member
    But with the education she already has, she should have no problem to find a job (even a part time job) to support herself?
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  • shennieshennie 2437 replies30 threads Senior Member
    My son is also applying to PhD programs. He is a biology major and wants to do marine science. He has wanted to do marine science since he was in middle school. We always told him that if that was his goal, grad school was his best route. He contemplated taking a couple of years off but realized if he did that he might not go back. So he is busy applying to schools. His older brother is currently working towards his Masters of Music in cello performance.
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  • Maize&BlueMaize&Blue 628 replies8 threads Member
    Senior D intends to go directly to a doctoral program in atmospheric chemistry. I'm on the sidelines for this round with my fingers crossed. I would prefer she work for a year or two, but she feels the stipend+fellowship+TAship+waived tuition+medical ins. would be just about the same as a starting salary with a chem BA and that she would be wasting that time. She's also been told that she "won't have a life" for the next 5 or so years, so she's anxious to get started to get to the research that she finds so interesting. Her older brother, who went straight to law school, now wishes he had taken a break. He was very tired of school after 7 years.
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