There can be a lot of value in a graduate school education. I experienced it firsthand at DePaul University in Chicago.
I actually had a college advisor tell me not to go to graduate school, mainly because he thought I had all the education I needed in my chosen field with my undergraduate degree. I chose to go anyway and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Being from a smaller town (just outside of Buffalo, NY), going to a big city like Chicago was quite an experience. It was definitely part of the appeal to go to grad school in the first place, a chance to go somewhere new, meet new people and grow as a person.
I got great advice when I first arrived: Every big city has its small ponds. Look for those and get to know the communities of interest to you. Then a big city becomes much more personable and manageable.
Another interesting thing about my grad school experience is I took a 2-year program and I completed it in 1 year. I attended classes in the summer to make that possible. While it wasn't recommended by the university, they worked with me on it and it saved me a ton of money (loans).
So here are 6 reasons you should consider graduate school, regardless of where you are in your life:
1. It's an Ideal Environment for Learning
You probably noticed that not all undergrad students were so keen on the learning part of the college experience. But in grad school, everyone is serious about being there for a reason: to study and to learn. Soak that up and you'll find it a productive environment.
2. Live in a New City for New Opportunities
By branching out to a new city, you'll find chances to network and land internships and other opportunities that you won't find if you stay where you're at.
3. Build Up Your Resume and Credentials
It looks impressive to have gone to graduate school and it can give you a leg up to the competition you'll face in the real world.
4. Meet New People
The networking opportunities alone truly make grad school worth it, whether it be professors or fellow students.
5. Buy Yourself Time
Yes, you're spending money, but you're also giving yourself time to contemplate what you want to do next in your life. Whether it's uncertainty after undergrad or you're ready to chart a new direction years later, grad school is valuable time to figure out that next step.
6. Put Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone
And this may be the best reason of all. It'll be challenging but that's the point - challenge yourself and you'll be much better off for it.
So think about it! It may not be for everyone, but it could be for you. It certainly was helpful for me to grow as a young man and opened up awesome career opportunities, including the chance to move to NYC and work there for 3 and a half years.