The Value of Taking Time Off between College and Grad School

Aubrey Gladstone, a pilot with nearly four decades of experience, has served as president, chief executive officer, and project manager at Gladstone Consulting, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida since 1996. Aubrey Gladstone studied engineering at Lehigh University and, after gaining professional and life experiences, received a master of business administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

The benefits of education include everything from higher earning potential to a more nuanced understanding of history and the world. However, in some cases individuals may find that their learning paths diverge from more traditional approaches. One of the most common deviations a student may explore is the gap year.

"Gap year" is an informal term used to describe a period of time between high school and college, or between college and graduate school. A gap year allows students to gain real-world experience, professional and otherwise. Individuals can utilize their time in a variety of ways. Some people, for example, may wish to travel. Others might pursue additional education after determining what kind of degree or certification they wish to pursue.

In some cases, time off between college and graduate school is a necessity rather than an option. For example, students who have recently completed their undergraduate educations may improve their law school applications with an internship or administrative position at a law firm. Taking one or more gap years is, of course, a personal decision, but can be informed by discussions with family, friends, and counselors working at a college career center.