Should You Take a Gap Year After College?

  • As college graduation approaches this spring, many students will begin transitioning to professional jobs. However, not all students are ready to go right to work following graduation. Instead, many students take a year, maybe less or more, to have alternate experiences of help write my essay. This is often referred to as a gap year. Many new and soon-to-be college grads have concerns about whether a gap year is a good idea. Below are a few examples of when taking a gap year might be a good idea.

    Engaging in service work
    Following college graduation, many students want to give back to their communities or help others. Many service organizations such as Teach for America, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, and WorldTeach actively recruit new college graduates to serve in their organizations. These opportunities can enrich the lives of students and those they help. These experiences usually provide participants assignments that can easily be described on a resume, and would qualify as work experience.

    Interning in a field of interest
    College students frequently change their majors, and many graduate with a degree that is no longer related to the field they wish to pursue for a career. For this population of students, completing a postgraduate internship in their career field of interest can be a wonderful experience which may enable them to work in that area in the future. Postgraduate internships often last six months to one year and can be either full- or part-time. Some are paid, others are unpaid. Although, these internships are not considered professional work experience, they can certainly be included on a resume. Hopefully, if the internship goes well, a job offer will be available upon completion.

    Prepping for graduate school
    Many students take a gap year to allow enough time to sufficiently prepare for graduate school. Most graduate programs require intensive entrance exams and comprehensive admissions applications, which can be difficult to complete alongside undergraduate coursework. Although job applicants would not include this type of gap year on their resumes later, it will likely not need to be explained if more schooling or advanced degrees are completed.

    Traveling abroad
    New graduates often get the itch to travel and explore the world before tying themselves down to a professional job. Traveling is a great opportunity to learn about oneself and other cultures. It is also a time when young people gain independence and maturity. If you have the urge to travel the globe after graduation, you can certainly take the time to do so. However, because this is often not something listed on a resume, you must be ready to explain to future employers how this experience made you a better job applicant.

    These are only some of the most common scenarios in which new graduates take a gap year before beginning their professional careers. Taking a gap year is not necessarily negative and might not hurt your chances of employment later on. In fact, it can be an amazing, worthwhile experience. Just be prepared to speak to the benefits of your time off from work and school when interviewing for your first postgraduate job.