Graduate students going extinct?


As a graduating senior, I have become a Stage 4 nervous wreck when I think too hard about my future.  Like many of my colleagues, I am seriously considering going to graduate school in the next couple of years. For the first time since I’ve been attending UVM, I feel like my professors are failing me because of the grad school advice they have given me.

I spoke to a counselor at the Career Center hoping she would be able to advise me about the degree I should be going for and what schools I should be looking at – given my professional goals.  She sent me to my professors because they are more familiar with the programs and schools available.

I have spoken to several professors, hoping to get some idea about which schools are strongest in each area.  

They all gave me some variation of the same advice: “Don’t go to grad school.”  “It’s too expensive.”  “The job market is terrible.”  “You’ll never be as lucky as I was to land an awesome teaching job that isn’t in located in an ugly town in the armpit of America.”

Professors get so caught up in trying to scare us away from going to graduate school that they won’t give us the information we need to make the right choices, should we decide we still want to go.  

I remain curious about the opportunities grad school will offer, and I really wish my professors would spend at least a portion of their time offering the information that will help me choose the right grad school. I know I’m not wasting my time, but they are the only people on campus who can help me with this. 

My professors are probably correct in recommending that most of us should think long and hard about not going to grad school, but for many it’s not a bad choice at all. 

For those of us who are thinking about attending grad school, it would be nice if to receive useful advice, even if it comes with a big disclaimer, to help us decide for ourselves if it’s something we still want.  Professors don’t get to make that choice for us.