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Background: I have the opportunity to pursue a Computer Science graduate degree at a well respected program (around top 20). I spoke with the professors at the university and I feel like I am a good fit with their research program. My ultimate pursuits are to complete a PhD in CS. I've done research as an undergraduate and it has only confirmed my notion that I want to pursue a research track career.

More background: I applied to jobs (in case I was rejected to all the programs I applied for) prior to hearing back from my respective graduate programs. I accepted a position for an industry job (this was to secure I wouldn't be both unemployed & not in school).

Dilemma: Turns out my top graduate school is very interested in me, and I'm very interested in them. I would rather go to graduate school than work in industry forever. The industry job pays very well. I am split between A) working for a maximum of 1 year(It would only be 1 year, seriously I do not care about the money enough to work past a year) and B) going straight to graduate school.

My concerns are as follows, if I choose A):

  • Could I potentially defer my admissions?
  • If I am not allowed to defer my admissions, would I have a good chance of re-applying and being accepted a year later?
  • Would my potential advisers look down on me for deciding to work a year?

I already made my mind up it would be a 1 year gig if I decide A). I know some people say once you make money, you may not be able to readjust to the graduate salary pay. But I don't think that will apply to because I'm going to live very frugally with or without industry pay.

1 Answer 1

  • You could defer admission, but it's a little unusual to defer for a year. Check with the departmental grad advisor and make sure everything is absolutely clear on this front
  • It's a risk: admissions pools vary from year to year, and maybe the professor who wanted to take you on doesn't have funding, or already hired another student and doesn't have room for more.
  • I doubt any advisor would look down on you for working a year. I don't see why, especially in computer science.

Other questions to ask:

  • will the job make your application look stronger next time ?
  • are you ok with not being able to get into this university and having to reapply and get in elsewhere ?