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Should I bother with grad school?

  1. Jul 1, 2012 #1
    I'm considering applying to get into a master's program in physics, and I'm under the impression that I will be able to get into such a program. My question is should I bother? Will I be able to land a career, or will I just eventually end up with a nice looking PhD on the wall in my cardboard box home?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2012 #2
    You do realize whether or not you will be "successful" depends on your own characteristics?
  4. Jul 1, 2012 #3
    Should you "bother" to get a graduate degree in physics? Well, what are your goals? What is your career plan?

    Also, masters =/= PhD.

    Also also, this:
  5. Jul 1, 2012 #4
    Alright, I know a master's isn't a PhD, but due to my background I'd likely have to go into a master's program first with the intent of getting a PhD afterwards since I got my bachelor's degree in theoretical math. You do ask good question though, bcb. I guess I don't have much in the way of a career plan, which is why I'm wondering if I should work towards graduate degrees in a topic that interests me, or if I should just hold off until I find something that I know I want to dedicate my life to. I'm starting to think that I won't find such a thing though.
  6. Jul 1, 2012 #5
    Maybe you should try going on some job shadows in fields that your curious about and seeing if you like them. Or even taking a career exploration class.
  7. Jul 2, 2012 #6


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    A PhD is not going to do work for you.

    For most people graduate school is a considerable challenge and a significant investment. Even for a 2 year master's degree, you're looking at 2 years of lost potential income. For a PhD it's much more. On average, advanced degrees still correlate with higher salaries, but in individual cases, there are no guarantees.

    If you're really interested in learning to become a researcher, if you have a strong passion for your field and you've done some work to investigate what's involved then graduate school might be the right decision for you. If you're just doing it because you're not sure what to do with the rest of your life, this may not be the best decision.
  8. Jul 4, 2012 #7
    Good advice, I think I'll just hold off for now and substitute teach in the meantime so I can get by until I figure something out.
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