Dare I Do It?

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I could use some advice weighing my options. I’m a college senior graduating this coming May with a degree in philosophy. I’ve really enjoyed my undergrad experience and my studies, but I’m struggling with what I should be doing next. Most of my job applications have been rejected.


The only job offer I have is for an entry-level writing position at a local ad agency. I can’t say I’m opposed to the idea, but it definitely wouldn’t have been my first choice. I was really hoping to do something more along the lines of counseling or personal advisement. Now I’m beginning to think my major wasn’t well-suited for what I really want. I even wonder if getting a master’s degree would help.


Are there options I’m missing? How should I begin my career?


Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question. While there are certainly options available, whether or not they’re likely to fit your unique situation is something only you can decide. The first thing to understand is how competitive the job market is. Writers at CIO suggest that college grads should be prepared for a cutthroat experience. That fact should help temper your expectations.


You definitely aren’t alone when it comes to thinking more education is the answer. More than 75% of polled college freshman plan to go to grad school. Those are record-breaking numbers. However, despite the allure and supposed benefits, there are plenty of equally compelling reasons why more education is not the answer. Only you can decide, but it’s worthwhile considering a multitude of perspectives, especially since it won’t be free (and could be extraordinarily costly).


Speaking of different perspectives, you might also find it helpful to consider the best advice that college grads never hear. Some points might be irrelevant, but others could prove insightful. Either way, the decision you make will have a major impact on both your immediate and long-term future. Be sure to exercise sound judgment and manage your expectations realistically.


You might, for instance, elect to both work full-time while simultaneously pursuing another degree or professional certificate. This is often very appealing because it obviates having to choose one over the other, but it’s also extremely difficult to balance successfully. Review these 5 tips to achieve your optimal work/school/life balance. Though obvious, you’d be surprised just how many people struggle with those five recommendations.


Another suggestion is to begin exploring possible outlets to further your education. Remember that you don’t necessarily have to matriculate as a full-time student at a campus-institution. For example, there’s Linfield’s online continuing education, which offers a wide variety of different programs. There’s also Faulkner’s online distance education programs, which has options equally suited to students who are trying to balance a job. It’s difficult to go wrong so long as you do the appropriate research. And don’t forget about other big-name services like Udemy or 2U, which offer similar value propositions to aspiring careerists.


Weigh the pros and cons carefully and take the time to read what students have to say about their schools before making any final decisions.


“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill