Could Grad School Be The Answer To An Early Mid-Life Crisis?

by Tiffany McEachern

Joining the real world after graduating from college is a milestone for every young adult.

It's a bittersweet time filled with both fear and excitement, but a lot of times college graduates find themselves in a pickle of either not finding a job or working a job that they hate.

Then, they sit there and think: Did I waste four years of my life and a sh*tton of money on a degree that has gotten me nowhere? Should I go back to school and get another degree? Will I find something I like better if I go and get my masters?

A record 30 percent of American adults hold bachelor's degrees, making it harder and harder for young adults to distinguish themselves from the competition.

Before you start filling out those applications, here are some things to consider if you are thinking of going back to school.

If you are dissatisfied with your job.

There are many factors that could lead to you being unhappy with your current position. You could hate your boss, hate your scheduled hours, hate your coworkers, hate your company -- the list goes on and on.

Chances are you probably just need to find a new job. If you love what you're doing and just don't like your work environment, find another company to do what you love. If you don't love what you're doing, find a job in another industry or field.

Gaining more work experience will help you to figure out if you should go back to school or not.

If you hate the industry/field you are working in.

If you went to school for nursing and come to find out that you hate nursing, it might be a good idea to go back to school and find something you actually enjoy doing.

Be sure to consider other fields in your industry before making a decision. For example, if you have an engineering degree and are currently doing structural engineering, possibly try transport engineering. This way you can try different fields before totally changing your industry and you will have a better idea of what you do and don't like.

If you aren't sure what you want to do.

There is no shame in having a part-time job while looking for a full-time job. It could be that you have not yet found a job that interests you or maybe you hated your old job so much that you decided to quit.

Being in your 20s is the time to try new things and that includes different jobs in different fields. If you aren't sure what you want to be doing, going back to school isn't going to help you figure that out, only real world experiences will.

If you can't find a job.

If you are unable to find a job, you're either being too picky or the right opportunity hasn't come knocking on your door yet. When you're applying for jobs, don't limit yourself because you think the pay is too low or because you don't think you'll like it.

If you are even a little bit intrigued, apply. The worst that will happen is that you gain interview experience. Wait until you have work experience under your belt before going back to school. This way you have a better idea of what you want to be doing career-wise.

Are you at a point in your life where you could go back to school?

If you just started a new job or feel spread too thin at work, it's probably not the best idea to go back to school. Going back to school for any kind of degree requires a lot of work, time, effort and money.

If you don't feel like you can handle just your job, adding a three-hour class every Wednesday night for the next two years isn't going to make your life any easier.

What is your ultimate goal for your career?

If you have plans to be a professor, lawyer or a psychologist, it's probably a good idea to go back to school.

Obviously professions like lawyers and doctors are required to go to school past a bachelor's, but other professions, like professors and psychologists, don't require you to get a specific degree.

The more schooling you have, the more you can distinguish yourself from the competition and be more qualified, but more than likely you will need to have at least your master's degree.

Photo Courtesy: ABC/Scrubs