I wouldn't freak out, given that people can wait well into their twenties and sometimes into their thirties to go to grad school.
Yes, life can actually start at...27. I am proof!
True, but what if I forget everything I know, or get too used to the lifestyle that having a job in industry affords? (And what if I don't want to continue having this crisis four or five times a year for the next five to ten years? Heh.)
I guess it's that I know a lot of folks who take a two-year break between undergrad and grad school to do something else, and now I'm going on two years, it's getting to where I have to decide whether this is my two-year break or not.
My two-year break may be permanent in the sense that I don't really want to go to school again -- I just need a backup plan.
Needless to say, it's hard to motivate yourself when journalism school is the last option and not somewhere higher up on the list.
Bah. I took three-and-a-half years before going back to grad school. Two years is nothing - and I know others who took as long or longer. Also, don't forget that grad school doesn't necessarily mean a PhD. There's also the masters option.
True, but what if I forget everything I know, or get too used to the lifestyle that having a job in industry affords?
Actually, I use that to my advantage. I find it a very compelling motivator to get my PhD and get back to work in industry as quickly as possible. That's not to say that I don't like grad school -- I'm enjoying it immensely and learning a ton. And though the work is significantly harder, it's much more fulfilling. But I'm not ashamed to say I miss the money and look forward to having it again.
Graduate school, particularly the PhD programs, is simply training in critical thinking, regardless of the actual field. You can have a PhD and never do any research, but knowing how to do it and being able to interpret other peoples' research is an integral part of the education. Being a PhD is all about being able to critically read stuff as well as theorize and speculate based on previous work.
Grad school=critical thinking, not necessarily research, although to do research properly takes a LOT of critical thinking.
This is encouraging! I like critical thinking.
I'm not sure you can separate liking software development and liking software developers.
I'm not sure I can, either. =) The people (actually, James was one) were what attracted me to computer science in the first place, before I even knew anything about it. They just seemed like the sort of folks I wanted to be around.
I love to learn. It's pretty much the only thing that ever motivates me. I'm going to grad school because it will allow me to do nothing but learn full time for the next 5 years, and because I am fairly certain I want to be an academic, the only way to do that being to get a PhD.
You will keep learning, because it's what you love to do. It's really just a question of venue. Will getting the degree put you closer to your goals in life? Are the things you want to learn things you can't do on your own? It seems to me that, especially in CS, there are many ways to learn. Grad school is only worth the time if it will help you move forward.
needless to say, i've been regularly having a similar freak out for the last 2.5 years.
Congratulations on grad school.
I love to learn, too, and it's true that there are lots of ways to learn about software development: you can work on open-source projects with a geographically dispersed group, you can work for a startup, you can work for a large software company, and so on. I've definitely learned a lot from working for a startup over the past year, both details and big-picture sorts of things. But I miss being in a formal computer science learning environment; I wasn't necessarily learning better things there, but I was learning very different things there, and they're the sort of things I want to be learning about again.
oh, it's not time for congratulations yet. unless you are congratulating me on finally getting it together enough to apply. i really have no idea whether or not i'll get in anywhere i want to go, or what i'll do if i don't. uncertainty and fear. makes life more interesting?
I'm having a too many options freak out. See, more grad school, always good, and increasing my starting salary somewhat. But jobs, in Iowa, they are so appealing, and I'll make nearly as much as Weeze.
I love theory, too. I also loved linear, but that was so long ago.
Yeah, for you it was way back in high school. For me, it wasn't until junior year. I was a late bloomer. It was me surrounded by a bunch of first-years, and that was the beginning of a two-year whirlwind of math and mathy CS wherein I managed to catch up with my class.
Are jobs in Iowa really so appealing? Also, Weze has freak-outs like this, too.
yeah, but I did nearly the same with history. I kind of feel like, only now have I caught up.
The jobs in Iowa are in Iowa, which adds a lot. The one in Iowa city I'm not fully qualified for, but they want you to catalog in foreign languages like Arabic and Korean, which are pretty damn near the top of my "languages to learn" list. Also, their LIS department is full of brilliant and good looking people, so there's that. Also, they're in Iowa.
I've got to choose between the doc program and a real job. I am more torn than I've ever been about anything ever in my life.
looks like it may be a helpful guide.