Rule # 1- If you are unsure what you want to do after college, consider working and taking classes part time at a community college or low cost university. Life is not a race, so take time to figure out what you love and how you will support yourself before plunging into a costly education.
Rule #2 - Do not go into excessive debt unless there is a very clear and certain positive return on that investment. An MBA from a top school costing more than $100K could be worthwhile if you are a rock star and know you will land a great job after school. Borrowing $100K to get a PhD in outdoor recreation is likely not a good investment due to the risk and low probability of ever making enough to pay off that debt.
Rule 3- Do Not start down any path in college or graduate school, without first talking to several people who are doing the job you aspire to do. Ask them "what does a day-in-the-life look like for them", "what do they love about the job", "what do they hate", and "would they do it all over again"? Ask if you can shadow them on the job for a day or a few hours to see what it is really like.
Rule #4: Consider working for at least 5 years before going to graduate school. Some professions such as health care or research require graduate school before you can begin your career. Always follow rules 1 & 2, but go for it if these fields are something you are passionate about. I would always encourage people to work at least 5 years before getting a masters in business administration ("MBA") or pursuing advanced degrees in engineering, finance, economics, accounting, etc. The work experience will make your graduate school experience much richer because you will have real world knowledge to relate to. It is also possible that your employer will pay a portion of your graduate school costs. And, employers will be much more likely to hire you after grad school if you have significant work experience.
Paul Anthony’s Answer
If you plan on going into a health profession then there is a lot more time that goes into it.
Then there is the business world which requires less years, but also depending on what you are trying to accomplish.
For example in my personal situation I have found that after my 4 years of undergrad as a Marketing & Management major with a minor in sales, I would like to go for a masters (2 more years of college depending on the program). Typically in a corporate environment a masters will help me grow faster in the roles of management. However, if I plan on starting my own business the masters would help to an extent. Then there is the aspect of getting a PHD ( up to 4 more years) which most of the time leads to other career journeys.