Q&A: Job Or Grad School?


If you have a job search question, contact DeniseMpls on Facebook.

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QUESTION:
I read your blog and want advice from you.

youngmenI graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in finance. I do not have any work experience. I am thinking of doing a Master’s program in finance, which starts this fall.

I am confused if I should get my Master’s now, or should I wait and look for work? Will it be appropriate to do a Master’s program without any job experience?

Could you please help me out, as I am confused and unable to make a decision.

RESPONSE:
If your goal is to find work in finance, then apply for jobs now. If your goal is to get an advanced degree, then go back to school.

As long as a job candidate has the minimum education requirements (a bachelor’s degree, for example), it is better to get some type of work experience instead of immediately entering a graduate program.

Employers want to hire people who have demonstrated they know how to do the work in real-world settings, not just showing academic experience.

If you are still not sure about your choice, talk to people currently working in finance. Do an informational interview with one or a few professionals in your career area to find out what skills and education employers expect from entry-level workers.

When you are ready to create your resume or portfolio, show the skills and experience that demonstrate you know how to do the work.

Emphasize your:

  • skills gained in part time or summer jobs
  • internships
  • class projects based on real-world scenarios
  • volunteer experience
  • any leadership positions

You also want to highlight any situations where you used skills related to your career field. For example, did you serve as treasurer for a student club?

Still not sure? Here are a few other blog articles I wrote on the topic:

Keep looking up,
Denise

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