Graduate school isn’t the only path to success

Gabriella Pinos/ Assistant Entertainment Director

All my life, I’ve wanted to get out of school.

Ever since I was in high school, I dreamed of entering the workforce. Always the obedient, academic pupil, I reassured my professors that college was the right path for me, and I would get a job in my desired field after graduating with a bachelor’s degree like everyone else in my class.

But while college has been a huge asset to my professional and personal development, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to put classes, pop quizzes and finals behind me. So getting a master’s degree hasn’t always been a part of my plan.

For one thing, I can be extremely indecisive, especially when it comes to my future. It wasn’t until last year that I had an idea of what field I wanted to enter, and that idea still varies from time to time. Getting a master’s degree would imply that I was certain of my career path, which I am currently still not.

More than anything, I crave to learn more about my career and my skill set. The only way to satisfy that is not to continue taking classes, but to dive head first into the muck of the communications world.

Throughout college, I’ve seen that many students like myself can learn more outside of school by applying their skills though internships or jobs. In my admittedly limited experience in my field, I’ve been able to exercise my creative muscles by applying techniques learned in class rather than reading about them in a textbook. Because of this, I’ve never seen the benefit of staying in school for more time when I could learn as I go along through my career.

That isn’t to say that graduate school shouldn’t be an option for students. In fact, occupations that require a master’s degree are projected to grow 18.4 percent by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Various fields such as health care, medicine and higher education administration, require at least a master’s degree to land a job.

Having that experience can also do wonders for your salary; of the 11 highest-paying jobs that require a master’s degree, each has a median salary of at least $80,000, according to Business Insider.

However, in my field, getting a graduate degree is not necessary to succeed in the workforce. The price alone of earning my master’s degree is enough to push me far away from school. Plus, between balancing work and life responsibilities, graduate school seems like an extra burden to bear.

FIU, however, is different in this regard. Because the University is a commuter school, it may be easier for graduate students to sign up for online classes on in-person classes after work. Because of this, it may not be considered as much of a commitment compared to other universities.

But like exercising and finding love, graduate school is a commitment I’m not ready to make.

For those who are certain graduate school will lead them to their happier self, I applaud you. You are taking the necessary steps to advance in your education, career and life skills.

But for students who are unsure about their future like myself, I’d rather develop those skills by doing as much as I can in my field, even if that means powering through times of confusion and self-doubt. By working, I’ll be one step closer to defining my passions and career path, and in turn, defining who I am.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo retrieved from FIU Flickr




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