I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed that I'm graduating with a Bachelors in a year. Help?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MusicEnthusiast, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. MusicEnthusiast macrumors 6502


    Jun 23, 2010
    Los Angeles
    So as the title says, I'm graduating next spring. I am earning a bachelors in Atmospheric Sciences and two minors in Japanese and Applied Mathematics. I'm currently working as a volunteer at my first internship at NOAA and it's really great. But I am feeling more uneasy with the fact that I'll be graduating at what seems like the tail-end of a bad economy. I wanna start making money as soon as I graduate, but people are telling me to go to grad school to increase my chances. I feel a little under pressure currently, even though I have one more year to go.

    Is there any advice you can give me, or things to do to relieve this mild stress?
  2. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    Well first, stop worrying.

    Second, keep trying to and doing internships and you'll get a job lined up.

    If not, go to grad school.

    Easy peasy.
  3. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I graduated in May of 2010 and did not get a job (which was out of my field/ area of study) until June of 2011.

    In the interim period from May 2010 to May 2011 I volunteered, interned and audited a couple of classes at the local state university. It turned out not to be too bad of an experience given I knew I wanted/ needed to apply to a Masters program but had no idea what I wanted to study.

    Were I in your position, I'd started applying to MA programs now so you have a back up plan if you can't find anything come this time next year. It never hurts to have a back up. The GRE and grad school application fees will be worth it, if you manage to get in somewhere, for the peace of mind it will bring you.
  4. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    I vehemently disagree. A grad program is not somewhere you sit 1-3 years waiting on the economy to recover. Unless you are truly certain what program you want to go into (and what career it will lead to), applying to grad schools just to do something is the biggest waste of time and money. I think the OP can and maybe should take the GRE - think the scores are good for at least 5 years (maybe 10?). So not bad to have in your back pocket if you can commit the time to study.

    OP - wide range of studies there. Can always look into the JET program - a highly competitive teaching English in Japan program - if that interests you and you're looking for a time killer between undergrad and life. At least you're making money then instead of in a grad program.

    It also depends on if you worked and/or interned a lot in college. I graduated in May 2011 with degrees in History and Classical Civilizations with a minor in Political Science in Chicago. Yup. And I've still been able to find jobs. Then again, I worked throughout college at positions where I developed marketable skills (AR/AP, Admin, Worked full time in the summers managing a staff of 20+ peers, writing, Adobe CS/Pro, web editing).

    Found a job 2-3 weeks after graduation at an investigative journalism/advocacy non-profit in the city. Really great place, salaried gig, great benefits. Then after 5 years of Chicago, I wanted a change, quit, moved back to Michigan. Few weeks of posting my resume around and interviews and found a new full-time gig doing social media and various projects at a company in the Detroit area and it's been really exciting so far.

    For those with an educational background that doesn't easily lead into a traditional career, it takes a bit of work to showcase your skills in your resume and in interviews, as well as pretty thorough (and constant) job hunting to get enough opportunities for something to stick. I probably recklessly applied a bit in my senior year, but hit 100+ apps between February-May. Just knock a few out on Sundays or instead of slacking on FB (instead of studying), then slack and apply for jobs. At least that's semi-productive.
  5. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    In atmospheric science, you don't pay for grad school. You get free tuition and a stipend

    Same with most science majors

    Fwiw, I am a 3rd year grad student in atmos science
  6. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    By the time I was done with grad school (Horticulture at Penn State) it cost me about $1000 total (housing, food, tuition, everything). I was on a teaching assistantship.

    However, I went to grad school because the career path I was targeting required it. In your last year or so of school, I have three suggestions - network, network, network. You ever hear the saying, "it's not what you know, it's WHO you know"? Working with NOAA is an awesome place to get your foot in the door, get to know folks, and let them get to know you. If you get the chance, professional conferences are also a great way to check out the leading edge of your area and figuring out who's who.

    Take a look at the general trajectory you want your career to go. (Yah, my plan didn't exactly work out either, but I'm still in the industry that I studied.) What do you need to launch in that general direction? You want to teach at the college level? Going to need a PhD. Tired of atmospheric science and want to change directions? A masters might not be a bad way to do that. But if you think your lack of skills will keep you from getting a job, then get out there and polish those skills through volunteer work and college clubs.
  7. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    Are you from the future!? :eek:

    Me thinks malman89 missed that part in the OP. :rolleyes:
  8. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    One doesn't go to grad school to wait out a bad economy. On the other hand, if you are genuinely interested and passionate about the field, you might seriously consider it. Most science PhD programs are fully funded with a stipend. It isn't the most glamourous salary you'll earn (you'll be officially poor), but you aren't there to shelter yourself from the economy.

    Have you talked to your supervisors at NOAA? Seems like that would be a good place to get some advice from people in the area, or at least check out if they're planning to hire soon/what kind of qualifications you need.
  9. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Millions have attended grad school to wait out a bad economy. There is nothing wrong with that strategy.

    I don't understand the neigh-sayers on this one.

    This is a classic technique - school while the economy is depressed - that my generation have used since the Carter administration, and was certainly employed before that.
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    This. During economic downturn education rates tend to increase. People have trouble finding work, and they want an edge, and school is often that edge. However, don't think it's a holy grail: I've got friends who have finished grad school and are still not having any luck finding jobs. Conversely, I've got friends with just their undergrads who have found great jobs.

    Grad school certainly opens up some jobs that would otherwise be closed off to you, but it's not a guarantee of finding employment.
  11. steviem macrumors 68020


    May 26, 2006
    New York, Baby!
    4 years at school in Chicago, then a year working in Chicago.

    I think that adds up to 5 years in Chicago.

    You may be better served to go to grad school though, mate. ;)
  12. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    See bolded. It implies that he remained in Chicago five years after graduation.

    While I have no doubt that's what he probably meant, that's not what he said/ typed.

    Let's see you finish a GCSE in English first, mate. ;)
  13. steviem macrumors 68020


    May 26, 2006
    New York, Baby!
    Sorry, I read it in full context, saw it wasn't the right syntax, checked again and thought to myself 'he must've meant 5 years total in Chicago, as he graduated in 2011'.

    Although you're right, sir, not what he typed. GCSE in English completed in 2001, but years in IT and a year in the US has probably ruined my reading comprehension skills...
  14. malman89, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    This. Perhaps not ideally worded, but not too complicated to figure out.

    That part wasn't stated by the OP, but contributed by dukebound85, after my response. See, I can be snarky with a bold and font increase.

    Grad school ≠ Ph.D. fellowships for all (though one arguably shouldn't bother without one), or even a Ph.D.
    Grad school focus ≠ Must be same as someone's undergraduate degree/focus/field.

    You also personally mentioned MA programs that are much less likely to offer anything but a few full rides then partial scholarships for the rest, resulting in tens of thousands of more student loan debt.
  15. 184550, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    You haven't been around that long, so I'll let you in on a little secret; some of the forum users around here typically bold the name of a user when they're talking about that user. It makes it easier for those of us participating in the thread to talk with one another. It's also so users don't miss something that they might been mentioned in.

    But snarky works too. :rolleyes:

    What about the bolded above is confusing or wasn't mentioned? Is it really that hard to imagine that the OP would pursue an advanced degree in the subject he majored in?
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    There's nothing wrong with that strategy? How about the fact that when you enter the labor market after graduation there'll be more people with the same qualifications applying for the same jobs? Depending on your field, you're also deferring 2-3 (or more) years of income for a degree of dubious value (however, chances are if an advanced degree doesn't improve your job prospects the BA or BS wasn't going to help you either).
  17. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Better than drawing welfare for the next three years waiting for a non existent job to show up.

    There is never anything bad about becoming better educated.
  18. relbbircs macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2007
    Different courses for different horses, I suppose... :cool:
  19. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    At least with a CS degree I can make my own Job after University. I don't know so much about Atmos Sciences.

    I plan to do a PhD solely because I can choose to teach later in life. I was going to do a conjoint-degree and do a pure math as well so I could teach Math and English overseas, but National put a kink in that idea.

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