People often end up in grad school because:
1) They’re not sure what to do with their life.
2) Their career is stalled.
3) Because they got accepted into a certain program.
There are obvious cases where a graduate degree is mandatory; you’re not going to get very far as a doctor or lawyer if you haven’t done the requisite schooling. But what about everyone else? I often get inquiries from executives looking for advice about whether they should go back. Would an MBA, a JD, a doctorate in organizational psychology, or a journalism degree give them that extra edge? Often, the answer is no. There are a lot of things you could do with $100,000, and going to school because you aren’t sure what to do with yourself, or because of received wisdom that an extra degree is always helpful, could be a colossally misguided move.
If you’re taking the plunge, it’s essential to think through how the graduate experience will benefit you, and know in advance what you hope to get out of it. …
If you’re doing a graduate program just to get the degree on your wall, or if only a handful of classes excite you, it’s far better (and cheaper) to take adult ed or extension school classes….
Yes, it’s a better alternative than moping around if you’re unemployed. But it’s also expensive — and that means you need to treat it like an investment, which means you’ve done your research and really thought about how you can extract the most learning and value from it. If you’re not even sure what your ultimate goal is, you’re wasting your time and money.
Grad school is not something you shrug your shoulders and just do, it’s a calculated and targeted investment. Think through everything before signing up for it and the financial commitment.