Sunday, 19 May 2013
Should You Go To Grad School? Some Considerations With Sukamto Sia
When Sukamto Sia graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1995, he knew that he wanted to pursue graduated studies. To this end, Sukamto Sia immediately moved on to graduate school at Cooper Union in New York City to earn a Master of Architecture degree. This route certainly isn’t for everyone. There are many things you should consider before taking on graduate school.
ª Is graduate school necessary for your intended field of employment? If so, then graduate school is a more obvious choice. Don’t take that question too lightly, though, advises Sukamto Sia. Reassess what you can do with your undergraduate degree. There are probably a number of possibilities you haven’t considered that don’t require graduate school. Additionally, fewer and fewer professors are receiving tenure track positions. The lack of availability for these high demand jobs means that the skills you learn in graduate school might not be employable anywhere.
ª Can you afford to go to graduate schools? Top graduate school programs will fund you to be there, says Sukamto Sia. With the amount of debt accumulated by undergrads these days, don’t dig yourself into a bigger hole. You don’t want to be paying off loans for the rest of your life. Additionally, non-tenure track professors are often earning so little that they are on food stamps. Don’t think you can afford graduate school because you’ll have a good paying job at the end of it. There are no guarantees.
ª Are you an academic at heart? If the answer is no, says Sukamto Sia, then grad school probably isn’t the place for you. Even though there are paths other than the professorate available to graduate students, the process of getting there will burn you out. If you aren’t truly intellectually curious about your field, then you shouldn’t go to graduate school.