December 18, 2014

Professional Development

Should You Go Back to School?

By: Jordan Silverman


As a recent college graduate I find myself constantly wondering whether or not I should go back to school. The thought crosses my mind on an almost daily basis and I often debate the utility of law school versus business school in my head, though never truly coming to a conclusion. I liken this decision to being an Olympic marathon runner – now that I’m finished with the big race, do I really need to lace up my shoes for another one? And if so, which one?

The thought of going back to school both excites and frightens me. Choosing to go back to attend law school would be the culmination of one of my life’s dreams (not including my lofty NBA aspirations) of being a high-powered lawyer at a big firm in D.C. or New York. However, with all I’ve heard about law school from friends and family, it would be the toughest three years of my life and I may end up hating it.

Now business school, on the other hand, appears like a shorter, flashier alternative. I could be done in two years and on to seemingly bigger and better things. But then again, I studied history in college and wouldn’t know the first thing about economics or business administration.

Well, how about going back for a Master’s degree in education?  I have a few friends that recently became teachers and they seem to enjoy being educators. Wait, then I would have to deal with unruly children and those dreadful school hours again. I had better think twice about that one.

Perhaps I’d be better off if I forgo more school? It would save me copious amounts of money and stress in the short term. I was fortunate enough to be able to attain a full-time position right out of college and don’t want to waste the opportunities that I have been afforded, or burn any bridges unnecessarily. Furthermore, there are invaluable communications and networking skills that I would not have been privy to had I gone back to school. Therefore, in the workplace, at times it seems as though experience outweighs education alone.

So, overall, the best option appears to be staying put and exploring the opportunities tied to my current position. However, this option may not be right for you. Just as I have spent countless hours wondering whether or not to go back to school, it is important for you to weigh your options thoroughly and discuss all the possibilities before lacing those shoes back up for another race.

Jordan Silverman works as the Membership Coordinator for Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET). He is from Silver Spring, MD, and graduated with a degree in history from the University of Maryland at College Park in May 2014.