What options do seniors have after graduation?


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

More than 1,000 students received their diploma from the universtiy during the 2018 spring commencement ceremony. After graduation, some prefer getting a graduate degree while others directly enter the workforce.

Completing an undergraduate degree forces graduates to decide whether to pursue postgraduate studies or to enter the workforce.

While some graduates may decide to directly enter the workforce, others decide to continue their education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, graduate school enrollment increased by 38 percent between 2000- 2016.

Dr. John Boulahanis, director of graduate studies, shared that both options are popular among university graduates.

“Based on my experiences and in communication with coordinators of other graduate programs here at Southeastern, the majority of students further their education and enroll into grad school,” stated Boulahanis. “If the graduates do not choose that route then they get a job that focuses on their degree shortly after graduation. Our graduates get employed at both private and public sectors. Many of our Southeastern graduates are employed at local, state or federal government. Additionally, some are employed as instructors at Southeastern or other institutions.”

Students in graduate school can find options to diminish the cost of graduate school. 

“Graduate tuition at Southeastern is slightly more than undergraduate costs,” explained Boulahanis. “However, graduate students are eligible for funding. Many graduate assistants are employed under the university as GAs. These graduate assistants work either in their academic program, or they are in an office and in return receive a tuition waiver and a stipend.”

The university requires students to have at least a bachelor’s degree to enroll into graduate school, but some programs have other prerequisites.

“I recommend that students contact the academic graduate coordinator or refer to the graduate studies webpage for more information,” stated Boulahanis. “Admissions decisions are based on undergraduate grade point average and scores on the Graduate Record Examinations.”

Having earned multiple degrees himself, including a master’s degree in criminal justice and a doctorate in sociology, Boulahanis further discussed the importance of attending graduate school.

“I have been employed at Southeastern for 17 years now,” said Boulahanis. “Given the current trend, graduate degrees are extremely important, especially for management positions in the workforce. Additionally, Southeastern has a strong reputation, and our graduates possess the skills needed to advance in their desired professions.”

Wesley Abbott, a graduate assistant in the Office of Graduate Studies, discussed his experience with the graduate program.

“Each semester costs about $4,500, but me being a graduate assistant, I get my tuition paid for in full along with a little extra spending money on the side,” shared Abbott.

Entering the workforce opens another path for graduates.

“A lot of our Southeastern graduates will go straight after graduation and into the work force,” said Kimberly Readlinger, career counselor for the Office of Career Services. “We assist a lot of Southeastern alumni, graduate students after they complete graduate school, seniors, and we also help current juniors.”

The Office of Career Services provides opportunities for students to succeed in their occupation apart from graduate school through constructive criticism or advice.

“Here at career services, we help them by critiquing their resumes in order for them to stick out from the others,” stated Readlinger. “We also will host mock interviews to give the students the whole feel of a job interview. We also assist students in building a career map for them. This helps them set realistic goals, and it gives them a clear path to a goal.”

Graduates can find options in their job search through career services.

“We have an online service named LionHire,” commented Readlinger. “It helps those who are looking for jobs by showing what occupations are available. LionHire has been in commission since the summer of 2015. We have had students get jobs all the way to Texas, but most graduates like staying in the Hammond area and choose to work over here.”