Graduate School: Yay or Nay?

Good morning everyone and welcome to “Science and Society”. I’m Dr. Sheldon Cooper, BS, MS, MA, PhD and ScD. OMG, right?

–Sheldon Cooper 

You’re almost finished your undergraduate degree. Your convocation is in the Spring, you got your graduation photos taken, and you’re packing up all your belongings in your dorm to move back home to your parent’s place.

Wave goodbye to your undergraduate life, and say hello to your new, uh, well…what is it you’re planning to do exactly?

Many undergraduate students decide to pursue higher education again, whether it is in the form of a diploma/apprenticeship/another undergraduate program, or (especially) a graduate degree.

According to Statistics Canada, 165 789 graduate students were enrolled in Canadian universities, which is a 5% average annual increase since 2000/2001. The growing number of students enrolled in graduate school are involved in the fields of social/behaviour sciences, law, business, management, and public administration. Considerable increases can also be seen in the sciences and engineering fields.

In Canada, graduate school enrollment has increased considerably over the last 30 years, due to increased availability of support from regional/federal government in the form of scholarships and grants. Also, a confounding factor for increased enrolment is due to new faculty on campuses.

If you’re like me, then you’re debating whether or not you should even apply to graduate school. If you’re thinking of applying, you’re also probably thinking which program you’d like to apply for.

Alas, I am only a simple undergraduate student, so I don’t have all the (right) answers for you unfortunately. However, I have compiled a spiffy list of reasons that may help you answer the ultimate question: Should I go to graduate school?

Keep in mind that a majority of this information is based on my own personal experiences and various advices I’ve received from many people (i.e academic advisors, professors, graduate/PhD students, fellow undergrads, etc). If you have any more suggestions, please feel free to add your own opinions in the comments below!

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