OrgTheory’s Fabio Rojas* has just re-released his award-winning** collection of essays on graduate school, Grad Skool Rulz: Everything You Need to Know about Academia from Admissions to Tenure. The title is a play on words: Fabio tells you about the (previously) unwritten rules of the game in grad school, but also, grad school is pretty awesome. (Grad school here means research-oriented doctoral degrees, not professional programs.) But, as awesome as grad school is, Fabio’s book is worth the price of admission*** for the first chapter alone:
Chapter 1: Do Not Go to Graduate School
Graduate school is not to be taken lightly. Don’t start graduate school because you don’t know what else to do with your life or you have a tough time with a regular job. If you are thinking about graduate school because you can’t find a job or hold a job, stop. Learn how to find a job and hold a job. Become someone who can learn skills and who other people want to be around. There is no point in being a journeyman academic unless you are highly self-motivated. Outside of academia, you will make more money, you’ll have the same job stability, and you will have more time.
The rest of the chapter explains briefly and bluntly what you need to get into graduate school, and some ways to tell if grad school is right or wrong for you. If an undergrad asks me to tell them about graduate school, my first answer will be to point them to Fabio’s excellent book.
* Also known as Indiana University Associate Professor of Sociology Fabio Rojas, but I think we know which title is more impressive here.
** If it wasn’t before, then I’m giving it an award right now: Best book about graduate school that costs less than a mocha at Star Bucks. Or almost anything at Starbucks.
*** 2$ Seriously, it’s super cheap!