Grad school advice from bloggers

If you want to take advice from bloggers, they’re generally happy to give it. I’ve written a bit about my own motivation in selecting programs. I think the best advice comes from people who know you, your interests, and aspirations well. That means family and friends, especially if your friends work in similar fields. It’s also invaluable to talk to both experienced mentor figures who have some perspective and recent graduates of the programs you’re interested in (programs do change over time). Over the past year I’ve come across a number of resources written by bloggers that I think are worth highlighting:

Dave Algoso, a recent graduate of the MPA program at NYU’s Wagner School, wrote a grad student’s guide to the international development blogosphere which answers these questions:

1. Why should I read blogs? I do plenty of reading for class/work already…
2. Blogs can be overwhelming. How do I manage the information flow?
3. Okay, I’m sold. What should I be reading?

From Chris Blattman (everyone’s favorite development blogger at Yale):

Dani Rodrik responds to Blattman on graduate programs in development.

From Greg Mankiw’s blog:

Let me know if you think of something I’m missing. There does seem to be more advice out there about economics programs than those in public health. Personally I’d love to see a similar set of posts from Karen Grepin, Alanna Shaikh, and Elizabeth Pisani, amongst others.

Update: Dave Algoso suggested these posts by Amanda Taub of Wronging Rights, which I missed since I never seriously considered law school:


07 2011

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  1. 1

    Brett, good round up. You make a really good point about getting advice from people who know you. Following general career advice is like the following the Washington Consensus. You’ve got to adapt it to context.

    That said, I have a pair of posts to add to your list. In memory of the all the smart, well-meaning people who have wasted years of their lives going to law school and then trying to pay off their loans while finding solace in a bottle, I offer this:

    Should you go to law school? Not unless you want to be a lawyer

    and also this:

    So you really do want to go to law school: What now?

  2. 2

    Thanks Dave — updated.

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