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So I've been offered a job at a company specializing in my field of study. However, one of the things they ask is that I take one less course, so that I can spend more time working for them. This makes me hesitate, as I feel someone looking at my transcripts may take my less full schedule to be a product of laziness. In your experience (as I am sure my situation is not unique), does this come across the wrong way? It seems like academic institutions in general seem to prefer that you take as many classes as possible. Is real work experience more valuable (to admissions officers, in my case) than just taking more classes?

  • Are you talking about admission to an undergraduate or graduate program? – Nate Eldredge Jan 30 '14 at 1:46
  • Subject matter would be nice to know as it might impact the answer. – earthling Jan 30 '14 at 1:51
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    What is the nature of the program you're applying to, and what are you planning to do with that degree? If it's an academia-oriented thing (e.g., research PhD) work experience may not be valued so much, but if it's an MA targeted at people going to get private-sector jobs, work experience may matter more, plus it may help you get a job after grad school. – BrenBarn Jan 30 '14 at 2:06
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    @NateEldredge In my personal situation, it would be undergraduate admission. However, I feel this question is pertinent to any student going through (or preparing to go through) college. – Azar Jan 30 '14 at 2:32
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    Unfortunately, questions about undergraduate admissions are off-topic here, and graduate admissions are completely different. You would probably do better to find somewhere else to ask your question. – Nate Eldredge Jan 30 '14 at 14:57
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If the "job experience provider" would write a good recommendation for you afterwards (surely you must also deserve it), this may matter more.

Unless you skip some very basic course that your future company sees as very useful for your work. For example, if the future company focuses on C++ development, a course with good marks in C++ programming may matter more than work in some company that required HTML/CSS only.

I would say, take that job but think well which course deserves dropping most of all.

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