Going back to school

After undergraduate school, I immediately joined a startup pharmaceutical company as a chemist.  After several years, I joined a larger company that offered tuition reimbursement as a benefit.  I took advantage of the tuition reimbursement program, which I highly recommend to anyone who is thinking about going back to school.  Fortunately for me, my company reimbursed me 100% of the tuition for my graduates degree.  Once I earned my degree, nobody can take this away and it is something I have throughout my entire life.  The value of such a degree is upwards of $30,000.  It took me roughly 3 years to complete since I was doing it part-time, so you can look at it as an additional $10,000 I was receiving from my employer.

I could have went to grad school immediately after receiving my undergrad degree.  This would have most likely meant I would be paying out of pocket unless I was accepted into a free program.  I would have most likely had to pay, which would add more dollars to my overall student loan debt.  This is not something I wanted to do for obvious reasons.  I would recommend others to look into all of their options for grad school, continued education, certifications, and so on.  You may start at a higher salary with more education, but you will have also been out of school for an additional year or two not making money.  You will also most likely have gained more debt.  These things should be weighed into your decision.  Additionally, you would not have the career experience if you took on a role immediately after under grad.

My last point, is that you need to make sure everything is planned out.  There are pros and cons to both sides of this argument.  Each situation is different and everyone’s goals are different.  You need to make sure your plan to achieve success works for you.  Even though I felt grad school was better after years of working and having my employer pay, you may have different reasons for continuing education immediately after undergrad.  Either way, I do think continued education is very valuable and helpful in your career.

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