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I’m about to get my diploma… and everyone is asking me… “…what’s next?”. Grad School vs. Job. Exploring Careers & Making Choices. Connie Horwitz, Associate Director. Think big. Plan big. Succeed. Career Development Center Project Center, Lower Level •

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Grad School vs. Job

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    Presentation Transcript
    grad school vs job

    I’m about to get my diploma… and everyone is asking me…

    “…what’s next?”

    Grad School vs. Job

    Exploring Careers & Making Choices

    Connie Horwitz, Associate Director

    Think big. Plan big. Succeed.

    • Career Development Center
    • Project Center, Lower Level •
    • (508) 831-5260 • • AIM: CDCatWPI
    • This session is intended to cover 3 things:
      • Provide key questions to consider when deciding on attending graduate school vs. accepting a job
      • Provide resources to guide your decisions
      • Offer you time to reflect on your current and future priorities

    Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.~Author Unknown

    so where do i begin
    So where do I begin?
    • Four keystones to deciding on Graduate School
      • Self-Assessment
      • Research Jobs/Careers
      • Researching schools and programs
      • Application/Acceptance
    • Feasibility Review :
      • Personal obligations- e.g., timeline, budget
    self assessment key questions go ahead start writing down your own answers
    Self-Assessment: Key Questions Go ahead- start writing down your own answers!
    • What are my short and long term goals? Where do I see myself a year after WPI—really?
    • Will an advanced degree help me to obtain these goals? or is it downright required?
    • Will work experience help me to obtain these goals? Could it actually help me select the right grad program?
    • Am I able/willing to invest the time, effort, and expense required for graduate study? or depend on myemployer to foot the bill?
    self assessment key questions
    Self-Assessment:Key Questions

    Am I pursuing graduate school because I don’t know what else to do with my life and career?

    • Ask Yourself:
      • Am I really ready to focus on one topic or a narrow range of topics for the next 2-7 years?
      • Am I comfortable initiating and carrying out independent research? Teaching? (Ph.D. programs are highly academic and research oriented)
      • Are you prepared to spend the majority of the next 2-7 years studying while living on a limited budget? Living a student lifestyle---again?
      • Do you need a psychological break from school? “Am I ready to wake up and find myself in a classroom again after just graduating---finally?!”
    self assessment compare careers empirically
    Self-Assessment:Compare Careers Empirically
    • What jobs are you qualified for with a Bachelor’s degree from WPI?

    Check out WPI JobFinder

    • What jobs will a Master’s degree make you eligible for?
      • Will programs take you right out of college?


    research is very important
    Research is VERY Important
    • Researching for Grad Programs
      • Using CDC Resources, Online Resources, Networking
      • Meeting benchmarks, e.g., tests, visiting

    Researching for Jobs

      • Using CDC Resources, Online Resources, Networking
      • Tracking and evaluating progress
    research exploring careers programs
    Research: Exploring Careers & Programs
    • WPI CDC – Search for graduate programs
      • more on next slide!
    • Sloan Career Cornerstone – explore career paths
    • Occupational Outlook Handbook – explore forecasts
    • Professional Associations – explore industry
    online resources for the sciences
    Online Resources for the Sciences


    American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Biotechnology Industry Organization

    Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

    NIH (National Institute of Health)

    NSF (National Science Foundation)


    American Institute of Biological Sciences

    American Physiological Society

    American Society for Microbiology

    Interdisciplinary Plant Research

    PreHealth Center

    Career Corner Stone Resources


    American Institute of Biological Sciences

    American Physiological Society

    American Society for Microbiology

    Botanical Society of America

    Interdisciplinary Plant Research

    PreHealth Center


    Mass Bio Council

    Biotech & BioPharma Professionals

    Bio Careers

    The Official WPI Alumni Group




    #jobs or #careers

    - in TweetDeck search Bio Jobs




    research finding schools programs
    Research:Finding Schools & Programs
    • Resources on:
      • Some online resources include
        • Petersons - Peterson's is a leading search provider of colleges and universities, graduate schools, online degrees, private schools and study guides to students
        • Graduate Guide Home - US graduate schools, masters, doctorate, law programs - Search for graduate school, law school, doctorate and MBA programs by major and state, university contact details and email forms. Sections cover admission tests, financial aid and more
        • Best Graduate Schools—US News and World Report - U.S. News has collected data from more than 12,000 graduate programs to bring you this year's rankings. Start by selecting a discipline for access to our top program rankings.
          • US News You Tube Video:
    grad school applications resources
    Grad School Applications:Resources
    • WPI CDC webpage: Application Needs
    • WPI Graduate Programs:
    choices when choosing graduate school
    Choices:When Choosing Graduate School
    • Is the school accredited?
    • Who is the competition?
    • Does geographic location play a role for you?
      • Cost of living? Access to lifestyle needs?
    • What are your research interests?
      • What has the faculty pursued at the institution?
    • Is there Financial Aid/Research Fellowships?
    • What Academic resources are at your disposal?
    • What is the profile of a successful student in the program?
    choices when choosing graduate school1
    Choices:When Choosing Graduate School
    • For Master’s students- do they offer Ph.D. programs?
    • For Professional programs- What are the career prospects after graduation? How do they help?
    • For Doctoral Candidates:
      • Average length of time
      • Previous Dissertation Topics
    • Possibilities of funding for research/previous grants awarded?
    exploring a potential job
    Exploring a Potential Job
    • Research actual job descriptions (e.g., and select those that resonate with you the most (top 10)---regardless of location
    • Conduct Informational Interviews to learn about what people do to gain entry in these roles
    • Attend Career Fairs now: speak with Recruiters and learn about what roles they like to hire entry level candidates for with your major---Apply!!
    • Be proactive in introducing yourself to a potential employer---don’t just look at major well-known companies: tap the smaller ones who could use help!
    choices job search
    Choices – Job Search
    • Who has given me an offer?
    • What are my responsibilities?
    • Is there room for growth?
    • Will I learn something?
    • Will I work well with the people there?
    • Who ARE the people that will surround me?
    • Is the location one I am genuinely ok with?
    • Are the benefits “good” benefits?
    • Does the whole thing sound exciting?
    choices jobs vs grad school
    Choices: Jobs vs. Grad School
    • What is my financial situation? Will I recoup the cost of the degree when I enter the workforce?
    • Am I absolutely certain about an advanced degree? Is this the right one or a repeat of my Bachelor’s?
    • What are the pros to each? … the cons?
    • What do I feel comfortable with?
    • In my heart, where do I really want to be upon graduation: immediately in the real world or holding the real world off to remain in the classroom a bit longer?
    the combined search grad school vs job
    The combined search: Grad School vs. Job
    • Similarities:
      • Cover Letters & Personal Statements
      • Resumes & Applications
      • Interviews & Interviews 
    • Differences:
      • Timeline
      • Cost of application
    upcoming career related events
    Upcoming Career-Related Events
    • Resume Writing, Wednesday, 1/16/2013, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM, Salisbury Laboratories, SL402
    • How to Find an Internship or Job, Thursday, 1/24/2013, 4:00 PM-5:00 PM, Salisbury Laboratories, SL105
    • Practice Interview Day, Tuesday, 1/29/2013, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, Project Center, CDC
    • Write Your First College Resume, Thursday, 1/31/2013, 5:00 PM-6:00 PM, Salisbury Laboratories, SL104
    • Learn How to Interview, Monday, 2/4/2013, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM, Salisbury Laboratories, SL104
    • Employer Resume Critiques, Monday, 2/4/2013 - Friday, 2/8/2013, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM, Project Center, CDC
    • How to Prepare for the Career Fair, Wednesday, 2/6/2013, 6:00 PM-7:30 PM, Salisbury Laboratories, SL115
    • Panel: Company Representatives Talk about Interviewing, Wednesday, 2/13/2013, 6:00 PM-7:30 PM, Salisbury Laboratories, SL104
    • Summer Internship & Job Fair, Thursday, 2/14/2013, 12:30 PM-4:30 PM
    • Choices are the hinges of destiny. 


    So in choosing:

    • To thine own self be true


    And as a result…

    you will do great things
    …You Will Do Great Things !

    Thank You 

    Career Development Center


    Connie Horwitz, Associate Director