The real world may be coming sooner than we think and that means seniors are starting the job search. On the other hand, students may start to look into graduate schools.
Tables lined the first floor of the Student Center Tuesday, Oct. 4 as 15 regional colleges throughout the Northeast area came to Keene State to inform college students of what graduate schools are offering, and whether or not it is the right decision for them.
A lot of work may be required in preparation for graduate schools in which students may want to begin their research earlier than they expected to. English Professor Michael Antonucci says students’ preparation is key, and they should begin before they start their senior year of college so students aren’t overwhelmed as classes for the semester take over their schedule.
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“Students could establish what they want to do early enough so they could prepare themselves in a timely fashion,” Antonucci said.
Since KSC is a liberal arts college, a variety of classes are offered for students from which to choose. Not everybody is always sure what they want to do with their careers, and they are still making their decisions throughout their first couple of years of school.
“If you choose the right major early enough, it will be helpful,” Antonucci said.
If students have an idea of what they want to do, they are able to look into what is best suited for them, and what direction they would like to take.
“Knowing what you want to do early enough, so you could get the professional training you need,” Antonucci said.
Graduate schools may not be the best option for students if they are not exactly sure what they want to do. Since graduate school is expensive, students are optioned not to rush into applying.
“I would not encourage graduate school unless students know exactly what they want to do,” Associate Director of Academic and Career Advising Kelly Graham said.
Academic Advising in Elliot Center is open to students who may have any questions as to what they should be doing with their career if they have any hesitation.
“We can answer any questions students may have, and really guide them in the decision making process,” said Graham,
Graham went on to say that the college has a lot of free resources available to students.
Graduate school is taken seriously as much preparation goes into it, and research should be done beforehand as students should know what they want to do and where they want to study.
“Graduate school is very intense,” Mary Plesanton, coordinator of employer relations and career advising, said.
According to a survey taken by the graduating class of 2011, 29% of the seniors went on to graduate school.
Although students may rely on graduate school to get them going after their undergraduate career ends, they should not always apply for schools just to get out of looking for a job that is best suited for them.
“We really believe that students should not use grad schools as a crutch,” said Pleasanton.
Not everybody knows what they want to do when they finish school, but they do not have to make a decision directly after school ends, as the option to go on to graduate school is always available.
Sometimes, having a job after undergraduate school is a good alternative as it gives some a good sense of what direction they may want to take.
“Experiencing a job may help a student decide what program is best for their career,” Graham said. “The fear some students have is that they do not go straight onto graduate school, that they will not go back.”
But there is always time.
“Take a break to help you decide,” Graham said. “Waiting is the best decision.”
If money is a problem, graduate schools may give a stipend to help you study there. Some careers may actually offer more money to have you attend school.
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM program) are fields that offer students more money to fund education.
Students may be overwhelmed with the decision and they may feel they need to apply to graduate school right away, but Graham assures students that there is no need to rush, the option to attend graduate school will always be there.
“If there is something in your life you like to achieve, you will make it happen, whether it is a year, five years, or ten years from now,” Graham said. “If a goal is really yours and you really want it, you will make it happen at any time.”
Lindsay Ross can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org