Dear Sandra

Dear Sandra,

I’m just about done my studies at AU and I’m not sure what to do next. Should I take a break from school and work, or go on to do my Masters? Do you have any advice for me?

Confused in Alberta

Dear Confused,

As an upcoming university graduate, a variety of options will exist for you. However, your degree won’t necessarily tell you what you should do; only you can do that. Going back to work will give you a break from the perils of studying, researching, and writing as well as provide you with some experience in your related field whereas finishing your master’s degree will be very useful to your career plan and will not require you to readjust to school after a hiatus : both options are appealing.

Either one of your choices will involve more decisions; researching careers and employers or schools, conducting a job search or filling out graduate applications. Life and career planning are on-going processes. Nearly 60% of American workers would investigate their career choices more thoroughly than they did initially if they could plan their working lives over (Gladding, 2000).

You need to decide what is right for you at this moment with a self-assessment. What are your goals and needs? Do you want to be settled in your career in five years, ten years? Do you need to work right now to catch up financially? Do you need a Master’s degree for what you want to do?

Check out the government of Alberta’s career profile section Here you can find the educational requirement of various careers along with pays scales.

It ultimately stems down to what you want to do at this time in your life. Make a pros and cons list for both returning to school and entering the workforce. Be honest with your lists and your true choice should be evident.


Gladding, S.T. 2000. Counseling: A Comprehensive Profession 4th Edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall Inc.


This column is for entertainment only. Sandra is not a professional counsellor, but is an AU student who would like to give personal advice about school and life to her peers. Please forward your questions to Sandra care of

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