By: Ibrahim Alamin
The truth is earning another degree won't necessarily solve your career dilemmas and may actually add to them. The common thought is that an advanced degree may be the jolt needed to get a career back on track and is a great way to stand out in a crowded marketplace of talent, unfortunately this just isn't the case.
Here are some things you should consider before signing up for class:
There is no way around the fact that school is expensive, especially graduate programs. There is the actual cost of the program plus the interest you will owe on the loans plus the opportunity costs of dedicating a few years to earning another degree; all this with no guarantee of coming out and landing a job. The idea that school is an investment in your future so no cost is too great just isn't the case. "Investment" doesn't mean throw money at something and hope its worth more one day, it means making smart decisions about how to use your resources to grow them. There are often much better ways to spend your money and time than on another degree seeing that usually the only benefactors are the school and the lender.
It may be doubling down
If you are having a hard time finding a job with your current degree then what makes you think the advanced, more expensive option will change your luck? Unfortunately, this is the logic that many professionals have been fed. The idea of the "Master's is the new Bachelor's" is a dangerous one that has led to many people sinking time and money into something they did not need. The truth is a graduate degree may be helpful to advance your career once established but is very rarely the best option for people that can't find jobs to begin with. In fact, you may just be doubling down on the problem by further investing in a skill set that just isn't in demand.
There are better options
If you're looking to go back to school because you can't find a job or want to change fields then take a step back and think long and hard before taking out loans and losing years of your life. Most fields don't require a specialized degree to work in them, they just require skills that a degree supposedly bestows upon you. Many of these skills can be gained in ways that aren't as much of a financial or time burden as going back to school. It is completely possible to earn new skills without stepping foot into anyone's ivory tower. Consider earning a certificate, volunteering, interning or even just independent study.
If you're thinking of going back to school, it may be worth it to really consider what you're giving up and what other options you may have. Don't spend the time and money to earn a degree because common knowledge says that's the way to go.
Are you thinking of heading back to school? What's your reasoning?
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