A couple blogs I read linked to a post advising against grad school during a recession. The post is silly, it generalizes the pro’s and con’s of grad school as if the subject you pursue doesn’t matter. The advice would be applicable if your considering grad school in a program that isn’t marketable (humanities, to a lesser extent social sciences and business) and also assumes the only goal of graduate school is career advancement. Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not.
One thing the author doesn’t address (besides in the title) in her argument is the advantages and disadvantages of going to graduate school depending on economic conditions. I read a summary of a paper a while ago that found people who joined the workforce when the economy did bad made significantly less for a long period of time than those who started working in a strong economy. I wish I could reference the paper, but you’ll have to trust me, it’s out there. If that is true, grad school would be an excellent option for the graduating class of 2009. Additionally, if you plan on going to grad school (despite random blogosphere objections) at some point, the opportunity cost is lower during a recession when raises and promotions will be harder to come by in the private sector.
The blog also throws out that grad school is a way to delay adulthood. That may be true, but what’s the best part about adulthood? Making your mortgage payment on time, or looking forward to your annual two weeks of vacation?