That’s not just the title of a great song, it’s a commonly asked question. More specifically: it’s a really good question that we commonly receive from undergraduate students who are faced with the options of continuing their education in graduate school or going out into the workplace. After many, many conversations on this topic here are my thoughts:

Continuing to Graduate School – Pros

Momentum: As an undergraduate student, you have a certain “momentum”, let’s call it, in terms of being used to the academic environment. Studying, taking tests, group work- all of this is familiar and works to your advantage as you transition into graduate school.
Simplicity: Not to say your life isn’t complex at this point, but it’s likely you don’t have a gaggle of kids, a mortgage, a job that demands travel, that sort of thing. Not that graduate school is easy but it is certainly easier to manage in the absence of these things.
TVM (Time Value of Money): You are likely to make considerably more with an MBA than without. Plain and simple. The more years you have it as a credential, the longer you will be earning a higher salary.
Program Cost: At Texas State we have a very affordable MBA program, and while it’s likely to stay that way history shows us it consistently ticks up every year. The sooner you complete your degree, the less you are going to pay for it (sidenote: I understand that this is oversimplified given the impact of inflation, but you get the point)

Continuing to Graduate School – Cons
Burnout: Some students have, at the end of their undergraduate experience, had their fill of school. At least for now. The idea of continuing on to a graduate degree is stomach-turning. 
Perspective: A 22-year old undergraduate lacks the perspective of a 27-year old who has spent some time in the workplace. This isn’t good or bad, right or wrong- it’s just the way it is. I think you could argue that the graduate student with some work experience has a more valuable MBA experience as a whole.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. And ultimately, the choice is going to left up to the individual to make; there is no right or wrong answer.

I will say that a part-time program–such as the one we run here at McCoy–offers the best of both worlds. A recent graduate can maintain their momentum and not run the risk of not returning to school for a graduate degree. At the same time, they have the ability to work full-time which provides not only a source of income but an incredibly valuable perspective that makes graduate school that much more meaningful. It also can offer the benefit of tuition reimbursement if that is something offered by the employer. 

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