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Next Steps towards a Career

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  • Thread starter DomBaz
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I recently graduated with a BS in Physics and a Minor in Mathematics. I worked in factories and warehouses during my summers to earn money so I didn't have any opportunity to intern anywhere and get experience. Up until my senior year I thought I wanted to do research in an academic lab setting but quickly changed my mind once I got firsthand experience in one. I guess my question is whether or not getting a grad degree is worth it? (I am not sure if I should go for an MBA or continue in the field of physics/engineering/computer science)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
CrysPhys
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I recently graduated with a BS in Physics and a Minor in Mathematics. I worked in factories and warehouses during my summers to earn money so I didn't have any opportunity to intern anywhere and get experience. Up until my senior year I thought I wanted to do research in an academic lab setting but quickly changed my mind once I got firsthand experience in one. I guess my question is whether or not getting a grad degree is worth it? (I am not sure if I should go for an MBA or continue in the field of physics/engineering/computer science)
<<Emphasis added>>

(1) A key question: What turned you off about research in an academic lab setting? The research tasks? The academic lab setting? Both?

(2) Typically you don't go straight from an undergrad degree directly to an MBA program (although it is possible). An MBA program is typically geared for someone who has work experience and wants to advance his career to the next stage: slots for MBAs typically are not entry-level; so an MBA without work experience does not offer much value (there are exceptions). Some major business schools require applicants to have several years work experience. [I'm not an MBA, but I have several family members and friends who are.]
 
  • #3
Choppy
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Grad school is a lot of work and it comes with a fairly hefty opportunity cost. If you're not sure about what you want to do, it's probably not a good idea.
 
  • #4
symbolipoint
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I recently graduated with a BS in Physics and a Minor in Mathematics. I worked in factories and warehouses during my summers to earn money so I didn't have any opportunity to intern anywhere and get experience. Up until my senior year I thought I wanted to do research in an academic lab setting but quickly changed my mind once I got firsthand experience in one. I guess my question is whether or not getting a grad degree is worth it? (I am not sure if I should go for an MBA or continue in the field of physics/engineering/computer science)
Continuing to some advanced degree may possibly mean, you would be able to find research positions in a non-academic laboratory.
 
  • #5
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<<Emphasis added>>

(1) A key question: What turned you off about research in an academic lab setting? The research tasks? The academic lab setting? Both?

(2) Typically you don't go straight from an undergrad degree directly to an MBA program (although it is possible). An MBA program is typically geared for someone who has work experience and wants to advance his career to the next stage: slots for MBAs typically are not entry-level; so an MBA without work experience does not offer much value (there are exceptions). Some major business schools require applicants to have several years work experience. [I'm not an MBA, but I have several family members and friends who are.]
-> It was mostly the setting, I liked the experiments and procedures and whatnot but the setting just wasn't what I imagined or hoped for I guess. And I did not know about that info on MBA degrees thank you very much for it, it helps immensely.
 
  • #6
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Grad school is a lot of work and it comes with a fairly hefty opportunity cost. If you're not sure about what you want to do, it's probably not a good idea.
-> Thank you for the input, I'm currently looking into different options to see if they peak my interest.
 
  • #7
Grad school is a lot of work and it comes with a fairly hefty opportunity cost. If you're not sure about what you want to do, it's probably not a good idea.
THIS. I would also say that it is better to think about what you want to do (post grad) and then back-track and figure out what degrees, qualifications, etc., you need to get there. Therefore, instead of thinking "do I want a grad degree in field xyz," think "in ten years, do I want to have [insert job] in field xyz."

It's hard to figure out what kind of job/career you might want. Some people have a plan, and I think that's when grad school makes the most sense. But Choppy is right, it's a huge opportunity cost for something that requires a lot of commitment---meaning you will be forgoing a lot of other options while undertaking studies that will require your total attention. Such an undertaking is easier when you are also not second-guessing yourself along the way.
 
  • #8
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Also - a good company may support the pursuit of the MBA, both financially and with time.

Other skill set - that is valuable but not taught, is project management, likely because it is a skill set. Anyway - getting a P M Certificate over the summer is a good tool, and will show motivation to prospective employers - good PM skill never go to waste.
 
  • #9
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THIS. I would also say that it is better to think about what you want to do (post grad) and then back-track and figure out what degrees, qualifications, etc., you need to get there. Therefore, instead of thinking "do I want a grad degree in field xyz," think "in ten years, do I want to have [insert job] in field xyz."

-> Couldn't agree more, I only just realized I was thinking about it all wrong. I've been looking into interesting fields that I might want a career in, rather than grad programs that I could apply to. Thanks for the input!
 

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