Gap years are usually reserved for high schoolers or undergraduates. However, more and more graduate degree holders are also considering taking a gap year-style break between university and work.
Following the 2008 recession, an increasing number of students were admitted to graduate school unemployed, in contrast to a decade ago, when many professionals entered graduate school with sponsorships of their employers. Most graduate degree holders are jobless when they leave also. Surprisingly enough, these graduates, which include PhDs, doctors and even lawyers, show interest in taking a year or two before committing to a career. Now the big question is, is it wise, in terms of finances, to take a gap year after graduate school?
Consider Your Career Prospects
Obviously, graduate degree holders will have to consider their career options first. Whether a graduate is looking for typist or orthopaedic jobs in Dubai, career prospects matter on the long haul. If a graduate can be employed right after receiving the degree, is it wise to put career on hold and take some time off?
Well, it will obviously depend on the career options as well as personal preferences. If you receive one of a kind and unique employment offer right after graduating, it’s probably smart to take up the offer and take a long vacation later, after you are more established. Otherwise, if you are sure you can find good employment once your gap year ends, then by all means, take the time off.
Are You Stressed Out?
Graduate school, needless to say, can be extremely stressful. If you are overstressed or overwhelmed, it makes sense to take some time before taking on another big and stressful employment seeking session or a career. A gap in between graduate school and a possibly life defining career can help you clear your head and allow you to think about the future lucidly.
Try to Combine Personal Time Off with Prospective Work
If you don’t want to let go of a prospective offer like orthopaedics in Dubai or executive positions, and yet if you are also stressed, perhaps you can combine career with time off. Instead of jumping headfirst into a full time career, start out part-time, or freelance, so you have more time for yourself.
The best way to spend a gap year is to volunteer. You will gain valuable on the ground training that you can show off to a prospective employer later, and you will also get plenty of ‘me’ time. Consider volunteering with a respected organization within your field. For example, if you are a doctor, you can volunteer with Doctors Without Borders.
All in all, you must decide what’s best for you. Carefully consider the options discussed above, and make a decision keeping your future in mind.