Jump to content

Safety school vs. Research Job


psycspy

Recommended Posts

So.... as the rejection letters start pouring in, I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to get in ANYWHERE. I've applied to 14 schools and had interviews at only 2 of them, both of which are not top choices of mine. I'm about to graduate college with a BS in cog psych and have been looking into 1-2 year research assistant jobs at various large research institutions/hospitals/universities....

What I'm wondering is, if I am accepted to one of my "safety" schools (the process is so competitive - can ANY program really be considered a "safety"??), should I take it and count my blessings that I was admitted at all, or would it make more sense to pursue a paid position that could boost my resume for future applications? The process is so stressful I don't even know if I'd want to do it again, but I think that the next time around might be a little easier and more successful with 2 more years research experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How "safe" is the "safeties"? Make sure you like them, they have the resources, the profs are smart and supportive, the peers are intelligent, the placement record is good. If they satisfy all the criteria above, I don't think it's a bad idea to go there.

But if not, go for the job. Jobs pay, give you experience, and (most definitely ) toughen you up. Although I have to remind you, a good job that is worth your time and worth putting on resumes and worth talking about is super competitive, too :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How "safe" is the "safeties"? Make sure you like them, they have the resources, the profs are smart and supportive, the peers are intelligent, the placement record is good. If they satisfy all the criteria above, I don't think it's a bad idea to go there.

But if not, go for the job. Jobs pay, give you experience, and (most definitely ) toughen you up. Although I have to remind you, a good job that is worth your time and worth putting on resumes and worth talking about is super competitive, too :)

I agree with nhyn. I tried to only apply to schools I could really see myself going but I was offered an interview at one of my safeties recently and I'm not sold I want to go there based on the information I've been hearing so far. I will see what the interview weekend is like and I'll try to obtain as much info as I can then. So, if you think you can still receive quality training from your safety schools, I would go there. Taking some time off does not necessarily mean you'll get in a better school next application cycle. But if you go to an interview at a school and absolutely hate it, I don't think it would be smart to go to grad school there.

Edited by neuropsych76
Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks for the advice... I have an on campus interview coming up this weekend, so maybe that will clarify what I want to do...

Most of the jobs I've applied for were posted on my school's career services website. Otherwise, I've tried monster.com, hotjobs, indeed, etc..... if you're looking for jobs, try searching through the HR/job posting websites of hospitals and large universities in your area (or places you would be willing to go)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was admitted into my first choice with a decent financial offer, so thankfully this is a conundrum I don't have to deal with. However, when things were going down and the acceptances, interview requests and rejections came in I thought heavily about this matter.

If I could do this all again I would have rolled the dice and only applied to the 4 schools I was serious about going to. I never really saw myself in the other 4 programs despite being a good match with researchers. In my head I narrowed things down to geographic areas. I could have saved 600-700 bucks. I let advisors convince me 8 was the magic number to apply to. In a way they were right, if I didn't get into my top choice I knew 1 safety was gunning after me pretty hard and a second was emailing me pretty steadily. It was a funny feeling because I knew I was never going to those 2 other places.

So, if I could give people advice for next year I'd say apply to where you see yourself going. In the end if it is 4 schools realize your chances are drastically diminished, however you'll have peace of mind at the end of the whole process.

If you are having any reservations about the safety school take the research job. I've been told by advisors if you don't like your research or your program the Ph.D. is going to feel like burden and your probably won't finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use