graduate school vs. the world

Subject: graduate school vs. the world
From: Kim Redick <tscom009 -at- DUNX1 -dot- OCS -dot- DREXEL -dot- EDU>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1993 17:17:58 EDT

Mr. Harris writes:

>A (n undergraduate) student of mine is interested in exploring the relative
>merits of grad school and work experience "students of literature,
>technical writing and education". She's mostly interested in sources she
>might consult, but I think a collection of individual opinions would also
>be extremely useful. I hearby solicit both on her behalf. Thanks very

The replies I've seen have all been from the practicing professional's
point of view. I'd like to offer the flip side since I am currently in a
Master's program for Technical Communication. I would advise her to go for
her MA or MS, but to choose her program carefully. Look for schools that
require an internship or have a cooperative education program and have
assistantship possibilities. In the right program, she will get both an
advanced degree and experience in the "real world".
Also, in graduate school she will have a chance to interact in her
classes with practicing professionals. This in turn provides opportunities
for networking and exploring career-related issues before being tossed into
the job market. Some programs (like mine) even require a portfolio, which
can be used for job hunting.
Finally, grad school can provide the freedom to say "no" to the
first or second (or third) employment offer if the job is not what she
wants. And, if that perfect postion opens up and is offered to her, she can
take the job and still continue graduate work part-time (knowing she has a
running start).

Kim Redick
Drexel University

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