Grad School:To Go Or Not To Go? That is the Question

February 11, 2011  |  

And like that brotha’ Hamlet, it’s something to seriously ponder. Getting a master’s degree is a wonderful achievement, no doubt. But is it right for you? I know it’s blasphemous to discourage furthering education (i.e. I won’t be telling my father about this article.) However, it’s important to really evaluate your reasons for returning to school before you spend your precious time and money getting another degree. If you have the luxury of going to grad school just because you love learning, you can skip the rest of this article. However, if you are going to graduate school to improve your financial situation there’s a cost/benefit analysis you should probably do. Real talk. I’ll use myself as a cautionary tale.

A few years back, I made the decision to go grad school. I applied to a prestigious private university and got in. Woo Hoo! THEN, I got the bill for tuition and I almost fell out. Over $40,000 a year and that didn’t include living expenses. I had serious doubts about going into that kind of debt, but I was honored to be admitted so I threw caution to the wind and went for it. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in school. I met wonderful people, had great experiences, and immersed myself in learning skills that I love. I also figured with my Ivy League education, I’d have higher earning potential. However, the truth is that I’ve had difficulty finding high-paying work and have accrued an obscene amount of student loan debt. I loved graduate school, but if I had fully understood the financial situation that I was getting myself into, I may not have gone.

Here are some things to think about before you make the decision to get that master’s degree.

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