In yesterday's post on advice, the comment thread digressed towards the topic of law school.
Joanne Jacobs wrote,
daughter, who was graduated in June from a top-tier law school advises
that the legal gravy train has run off the tracks. At a time when it's
hard for all new lawyers to find paying work, a second-tier law degree
— which cost a lot of time and money to earn — may not lead to a
decent job. (She's working pro bono this year, though the law firm that
offered her a job has given her a stipend to wait to start till fall,
2010.) Even pre-recession, first-tier degrees were "national" (good
anywhere) while second-tier degrees were "regional" (good locally).
someone graduates in the middle of his or her class at a second tier
law school, spends the bulk of his or her professional career closing
small commercial real estate loans, or defending small accident cases
for insurance companies, or whatever, at an income in the low six
figures (or the high five figures if not in a major city), and really
enjoys what he or she is doing, then that's fine. But I wouldn't spend
three years of my life preparing for that career unless I had some
thought that I would enjoy it.
(And all the academics choked a little on their breakfast at the low six figure comment.)
With more excellent commentary and links from Ragtime.
Meanwhile, I just talked two friends out of applying to graduate school this weekend. TWO. Two friends who were desperately bored at their jobs and really wanted the intellectual stimulation of the classroom. I had to explain the job realities to them and urged them to see if they could figure out how to get to their goals without getting a PhD.
I'm not sure that I would advise anyone to apply to business school right now. I have friends who finished their masters in education and can't find work.
What should smart, ambitious college graduates do? Maybe this is why they're all depressed.
UPDATE: Geeky Mom responds.