The title of the post is a question that runs through the minds of many new professionals, as they wonder if a master’s degree in their fields will equal more earning potential and opportunities.
Some young 20-somethings realize soon after college that maybe, just maybe their chosen field of study was wrong for them.
And sometimes, they are just stuck and don’t know where to go.
I love my job at the York Daily Record; I have a group of editors and co-workers who constantly challenge me to write and design better. However, some important people in my life are struggling with their career paths and their paths in life.
How do you know if going back to school is a good choice?
Think about leaving your paid job, your working environment, packing all your belongings and moving back to a college campus (or nearby) to study for two more years. This makes some of us cringe, but some see it as a great idea.
Before jumping headlong into applications and college tours, there are some do’s and don’ts for deciding to go back to school:
It might be a good idea if:
- You can afford, and are OK with, making minimal to no money for a period of time. Or, if you can afford, take the loans out.
- You can commit the time.
- You have a better chance at a job in your field if you had a master’s degree.
- An employer is subsidizing the cost and/or has promised a job upon return.
- The degree could help you increase your salary for the job you are doing now or launch you into higher opportunities in the field.
But don’t do it just because:
- You are dissatisfied with your employer and/or job. If you are newly graduated, things might be rough for a while. If you truly feel you could be better off somewhere else, then look into new jobs in the same field, or maybe try to break into a job in a new field that caught your eye. Give things a chance before spending the money on another/new degree.
- You miss college. We all do, with the now seemingly carefree days and no worry for bills. However, this time, the bills will still be there, and Mom and Dad might not be to help you.
- Money is really tight and you can’t afford to stop working. However, there are other opportunities to still obtain that degree, whether through online or at a remote campus location. It is possible to take night classes while working a full-time job, or take on a part-time job to pay the bills while studying full-time. See what your community has to offer and what your budget allows.
- Job prospects will not improve from the earned degree.
These are just some examples. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you feel in your gut is the right decision.