I don't know if I should try to get a job or go to grad school after college

<p>Hi, I'm going to be a freshman this upcoming fall 2010 and I'm majoring in environmental engineering. I know it is too early to ask this question, but I am sort of concerning about my professional career. I think environmental engineering is the right major for me, but I always wonder how my professional career is going to be. So I want to get a head start thinking if I should get a job right after college or go to grad school. I HEARD that many people are just trying to get a job right after college because they either need money or they think that grad school is extremely hard for them or they can't afford for grad schools. How hard is the grad school and how is the life at grad school specifically??? And for people who are going to grad school, I HEARD that they are going to grad school rather than getting a job because their PhD can get them high-paying jobs pretty easily or they are really passionate about their major. Is this true? Any answers??
Thank you guys :)</p>

<p>Go to college. Do well in the first two years and then see where you are at :)</p>

<p>As they say, graduate school/academia is the life of the mind. Which essentially means your whole world revolves around that subject matter, including theory work. Social life is completely optional.</p>

<p>How hard graduate school is versus getting a job really depends on the program, the job, and the person. There's no way to objectively measure it - some people are really good at working in the corporate world, managing projects and people. Others do a lot better when they are researching and studying.</p>

<p>You should only go get a PhD in engineering if you are interested in doing research. Although you can get industry jobs after a PhD in engineering, you'll spend 4-6 years doing research and if you don't love it, you'll be miserable (and may not finish). One way to find out is to assist a professor on a research project. When you get to school see who's doing research on something interesting and ask if they need a research assistant, or if they know someone who does. Assisting in the research can help you gauge whether it's something you like or not.</p>

<p>And like ticklemepink said, you'll make the decision about the next step after college after your first two years.</p>

<p>Thank you guys!!!!!!!!!! :)</p>

<p>The best strategy is to choose your coursework as though you might go to graduate school but then wait until the end of your junior year to decide whether you will do it right out of college or wait/skip it. Get involved with research as soon as possible since this will prepare you for graduate school OR for jobs/interviews. If you tailor your undergraduate academic experience as though you will be going to grad school, then you can use it no matter when you choose to apply.</p>

<p>As for whether a PhD in engineering is necessary, you'll first have to decide what you want to do. Think about the term R&D -- research and development. Generally (although this certainly isn't a hard and fast rule), PhDs head up the research side, while those with master's concentrate on development. B.S.E.s almost exclusively work on development. I have known many engineers who went to work right out of college and only later knew what they wanted to do with their careers. </p>

<p>It's NEVER a good idea to go into a PhD program to delay finding a job. If you don't have the passion to research in your field, then you will unlikely finish the degree.</p>

<p>The best strategy is to choose your coursework as though you might go to graduate school but then wait until the end of your junior year to decide whether you will do it right out of college or wait/skip it. Get involved with research as soon as possible since this will prepare you for graduate school OR for jobs/interviews. If you tailor your undergraduate academic experience as though you will be going to grad school, then you can use it no matter when you choose to apply.</p>

<p>As for whether a PhD in engineering is necessary, you'll first have to decide what you want to do. Think about the term R&D -- research and development. Generally (although this certainly isn't a hard and fast rule), PhDs head up the research side, while those with master's concentrate on development. B.S.E.s almost exclusively work on development. I have known many engineers who went to work right out of college and only later knew what they wanted to do with their careers. </p>

<p>It's NEVER a good idea to go into a PhD program to delay finding a job. If you don't have the passion to research in your field, then you will unlikely finish the degree.</p>