But when I got to college, my friends and peers around me were practically filling put grad school apps freshmen year it seemed. So I contemplated. And contemplated……and years later, I am still contemplating. Education is extremely important, but I feel education can be in and out of the classroom. I feel I am a work-and-do-it girl. Not a study-all-day and learn it girl. However, overall, I feel I can be a Combo, which I feel I need to possess in my industry. Having all the degrees in the world, but not understanding and enjoying writing and publishing will not make you the best employee. However, with the job market slowly making its way up the drain again, I decided that in order to stay on top, I need to know what the Tops know. Also, after graduating with a degree in journalism, knowing now that I want to do book and magazine publishing, I realize I need more skills and knowledge of the real world of publishing besides writing. I realize that if I really want to do this, I need to step up my game and compete correctly and respectfully with the others. I especially realized after interning that a lot of people in my field have undergrad degrees, so how am I going to stand out or be an expert if everyone is on the same level it seems.
So, I decided to go back to school. Temporarily.
Next on my decision list was entering a Masters program or a graduate certification program, which I never knew existed until I researched publishing.
Fortunately, in the publishing world, both programs look and feel good, and are appreciated by companies.
So, let’s break it down:
Master’s Degree Program:
- Longer- 1-3 yrs
- More expensive
- More intense and strenuous
- It’s a freakin Master’s Degree!
- More education, knowledge, and experience gained
- Gives stronger job security down the road
Graduate Certification Program:
- No second degree, just a certification
- Not as in-depth as a graduate program, may miss out a little
- Not viewed as highly among companies and employers
- It’s a certification! Add it on your resume, it’s better than nothing!
- Much cheaper and faster- usually 1-3 months. Get the same basics and min experience as a Masters’
- Great for those who are unsure or want to start out slow, plus many schools let certifications become hours added to a Masters’ track if you decide to get your degree later
I decided after much much contemplation, discussion, and research, to venture with the Graduate Certification Program route. It is perfect for young people like me who are in the middle of the post-grad life trying to decide what and where to go next. It’s like school and career training all wrapped in one. It’s good for people who are not yet ready to take it to the big leagues. And if or when I do, I will have a solid foundation and a strong background of education from the certification program that will help me along to the next level of education and career.
Wish me luck!