I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the academic advice forum, as it seems to be a mix of the two. Feel free to move it as you see fit. Sorry if this is a bit long. I am a dual degree EE physics major (the physics degree is a BA) who is in the middle of the 3rd year of a 5 year program. After finishing my undergrad in Electrical engineering and physics I would like to participate in the Japanese exchange and teaching (JET) program ( http://www.jetprogramme.org/ ). Basically you just teach English there for 1 - 3 years, there are a number of programs like this but JET is the best one. It's pretty competitive though (well, no more competitive than grad school, but they are looking for a different skill set), and they don't tell you if you've made it until mid May, slightly before or after graduation. I would also like to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in physics or EE, but I'm not sure if applying is wise if I know I want to do something else, or if I would be able to deffer acceptance until may (or potentially for a year or more). Similarly, I am not sure if it is any more reasonable on my part to attempt to secure a job, or when it is typical to be hired as a graduating EE major. Lastly, if I were to be accepted into JET and participated for say, 3 years, I don't suppose the 3 years out of academia, working in an entirely non technical field, looks too bad does it? I've wanted to do JET since middleschool so I am pretty determined to accept the opportunity to participate if I can. I'm not sure how clear that was, so my questions are: Given my situation, does it even make sense to apply to graduate school during my senior year? How long can you defer graduate school acceptance? If I turned down acceptance to a school I really wanted to attend in order to do JET, would it look bad for me to reapply a few years later? When attempting to secure a job as a graduating senior, at what point are you typically aware of if you have been hired? (assuming there is anything "typical about the process) Does spending an extended period of time working in an irrelevant area look bad on grad school apps? Thanks!