Should you go to graduate school in a recession?

Penelope Trunk says no:

Applications to the military increase in a bad economy
in a disturbingly similar way that applications to graduate school do.
For the most part, both alternatives are bad. They limit your future in
ways you can’t even imagine, and they are not likely to open the kind
of doors you really want. Military is the terrible escape hatch for
poor kids, and grad school is the terrible escape hatch for rich kids.


7. Most jobs are better than they seem: You can learn from any job.
When I worked on a French chicken farm,
I thought I’d learn French, but I didn’t, because I was so foreign to
the French farm family that they couldn’t talk to me. However I did
learn a lot of other things, like how to bargain to get the best job in
the chicken coop, and how to get out of killing the bunnies. You don’t
need to be learning the perfect thing in your job. You just need to be learning. Don’t tell yourself you need a job that gives your life meaning. Jobs don’t do that; doesn’t that make you feel better? Suddenly being in the workplace doesn’t seem so bad.

8. Graduate school forces you to overinvest: It’s too high risk.
In a world where people did not change careers, grad school made sense. Today, grad school is antiquated.
You invest three to six extra years in school in order to get your
dream career. But the problem is that not only are the old dream
careers deteriorating, but even if you have a dream career, it won’t
last. You’ll want to change because you can. Because that’s normal for
today’s workplace. People who are in their twenties today will change
careers about four times in their life. Which means that grad school is
a steep investment for such a short period of time. The grad school
model needs to change to adapt to the new workplace. Until then. Stay away.

I don't completely agree, but this is a refreshing tonic.


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