13 May 2013

Continuing education

“I just want to continue my education.”

I’ve heard this from a few prospective grad students. I understand why they would say they want to continue their education when they’re asked why they want to go to grad school. I imagine for their entire lives, they have probably been encouraged to stay in school. For their entire lives, they have probably been told degrees are a pathway to greater professional success. For their entire lives, education has been an unalloyed good.

But “continuing education” is not a good reason to go to grad school. At the end of a bachelor’s degree, honestly, you should have a pretty darn good idea about how to continue educating yourself. That’s the point of a liberal arts degree. Grad school is a specific education with a specific purpose. Do it if you need the degree for a specific career, or if you love the subject.

I have yet to hear someone who says, “I just want to continue my education” give a good answer if they get asked, “Why?” They often have no plan, and little understanding of what grad school entails.


Anonymous said...


TheCellularScale said...

I completely agree. What do you tell these prospective students?

Zen Faulkes said...

Cellular: I tell them people who don't have an answer beyond "I want to continue my education" have generally not been happy in grad school. At least not in my program.