The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Part 1: Grad school is the way to go

While graduation looms, so does the lingering question of what to do after that glorious day of walking in a cap and gown. For some, entering the job market is the only way to go, but for me going back to school seems like a great option.

Sure we all get tired of midterms, papers and research projects, but the scarcity of the job market seems more unappealing than extra courses. Continuing school after graduation is a way to enhance opportunities and earn more degrees than the average person.

Why go into a job market that is constantly cutting people left and right? Why not go back to school and open more doors in the long run? At least that is the option I am going for and as a hopeful journalist, I feel it is the best one.

Newspapers and the fate of journalists everywhere are in question. Professionals recently told journalism majors at a career day at CSUN it would be wise to stay in school. They told us after graduation we would be up against people who have been in the industry for over 20 years who lost their jobs.

Do we have a chance? Sadly, not so much. Most said for us to broaden our talents. Think beyond one newspaper. Not only were they blunt and full of, as one journalist put it, ‘gloom and doom,’ most of all, they were right. This is why the choice to pursue a master’s degree right away and continue learning is plausible.

Every major has a different story, but for mine the facts are unsettling. The ‘State of the News Media 2009’ from the Pew Research Center said, ‘Newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23 percent in the last two years. Some papers are in bankruptcy and others have lost three-quarters of their value.’ Let’s have a moment of silence for the ones that have already fallen like the Rocky Mountain News.

The article didn’t stop there. ‘By our calculations, nearly one out of every five journalists working for newspapers in 2001 is now gone, and 2009 may be the worst year yet.’ For some who have nothing to do with journalism and other emphasis, newspapers aren’t the only industry to be hit.

Teachers are picketing for their jobs back, and other business are closing their doors too quickly. Instead of filling out applications next to people who last received a pink slip, look to college to help.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a stable job right after graduation. If someone were that lucky, then their career would be set. But for those of us who graduate and are left on the side wondering what’s next, taking a bad job just for the sake of having one doesn’t have to be a last resort.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Education, enrollment for graduate programs has increased 67 percent from 1976 to 2006. It is projected to continue increasing through 2017.

Graduate schools seem’ more appealing with fewer jobs available. It is especially hard with the layoffs and cutbacks. Not only are recent graduates competing with their peers, but also with those who were cut.

Pew Research Center for the People and the Press had a survey about job availability. In 2001, 44 percent said a job was difficult to find and 42 percent said there were plenty of jobs available.

In 2009, 80 percent of people said jobs were difficult to find and 11 percent said there were plenty of jobs. People who were cut have more work experience than a recent graduate could hope for, so to become more marketable, graduate school is the key.

Graduate school might post some challenging cost factors. Online universities and programs make it easy and affordable to pick a graduate program. I find it best to look at all the options. Research different programs and pick one that seems to fit. Going into the job shark tank doesn’t have to be the only choice.

I don’t want to take the first job I can get just to make ends meet. I want to love what I do. If that means spending more time in school to make myself more valuable to employers, than that is the path I will take. I would rather take a couple more years of annoying midterms than the rest of my life scraping to find that perfect job.

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