Friday, October 23, 2009

Pros & Cons Of Taking A Year Off After Graduation

The Cons of Taking a Gap Year

Con No. 1: It's all about the Benjamins.
While taking a gap year certainly has its perks, it's only feasible with financial support for costs such as airfare, transportation, food, visas, etc. If you're graduating with debt and little to no savings (like most of us), securing support can make or break your travel plans.

Emma Rose, a New York University veterinary student of the class of 2009, was interested in working with professional vets in a developing country, but the programs she found cost thousands of dollars -- plus airfare. "It didn't make sense to lay out more money when I currently owe money," says Rose.

However, there are options for cash-strapped young adults of Rose's mindset. The Peace Corps, for example, provides volunteer opportunities for little to no personal expense. Do some thorough research before deciding you can't afford to take a gap year.

Con No. 2: It puts a damper on networking at home.
In a tight job market and an even tighter economy, recent grads are having trouble finding jobs even months into the search process. Professionals assert that networking is one of the more successful ways to land that first job. But for students taking a gap year, networking opportunities can be slim to none.

Being abroad without an Internet connection in a developing nation or not being able to commit to a casual meet-and-greet can bring some students one step back in the job-hunting process.

Says Snyder: "I could not enter the job market right away, which is a big disadvantage. Companies are hiring in the springtime, right when school lets out -- not in mid-August, when I returned from Azerbaijan and when most companies are on slow schedules with many managers taking time off."

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