Does *everybody* go to grad school?

Sometimes, it feels like just about everyone I know has gone to grad school. And if not specifically grad school, they went back and did a second bachelors, or a trade, or some other type of continuing education.

I use to think grad school was very rare. And I knew my family was a bit of an anomaly and highly educated – we all have bachelor’s, and, within the next year, with the exception of one member, will all have at least a Masters. But nowadays, while my family situation is still not common, most of my friends and people I know are either in grad school, have finished grad school, or are contemplating grad school.

On one hand, I guess this is to be generally expected when most of the people you meet, you meet through grad school. But, if I think back to those I hung out with as an undergrad, the grad school/continuing education rate is probably at about 90%. If I think back to high school, two of the three people I’m still somewhat in contact with have either done grad school or additional training of some kind.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I (generally) love grad school. But, I’d be the first person to tell you that grad school (and even university) is not for everyone. That doesn’t mean that the person is not smart enough, or drive enough, or whatever for grad school. It just means that some (many, most?) people would probably much prefer to either be working or doing a completely different type of training. Which is neither better nor worse than grad school. Just different. 🙂

But with this trend of pretty much everyone continuing to grad school, all it’s going to mean, is that employers are going to continue to change job requirements to require these additional degrees – even if they won’t actually be paying the employee more or the job doesn’t require any of the extra knowledge gained. Which, depending on where you live and go to school, can mean a crazy additional amount of debt. Eek!

I think it’s really neat that so many people want to go to grad school. I just hope they’re going for the right reasons (whatever they are), and not just because everyone else is.

Do you notice this trend where you are?

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4 thoughts on “Does *everybody* go to grad school?

  1. I did notice this trend – when I was applying for grad school, I really thought I was doing something pretty unique and amazing. Apparently not – I had a bunch of friends who were in the same club as me and only discovered that they were grad students when I admitted I was in Grad School.

    Now it seems everywhere I go, I see Grad Students… but then again, now that we ARE in Grad School, it makes more sense that we’d be looking for them, doesn’t it? 🙂

    • I had a conversation recently with a friend who is going back to school this fall (and already has a Masters) about how you start to expect everyone to be going to or have gone to grad school. Which, as I eventually venture into the real world (unless it’s academia) will probably become apparent again. 🙂

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