By Stephanie Heald-Fisher, Graduate Program Chair, Online Division Minnesota School of Business
Returning to school to work on your Masters degree is a big decision. It is not one that should be taken lightly. The benefits of a graduate degree are long-term. Although they may not be as tangible as a big pay raise, studies have shown that in the long run, people with graduate degrees earn more over their lifetime (Burnsed, 2011). For instance, during the recent recession when unemployment hit 8.9 percent, unemployment amongst those with college degrees was 4.3 percent (Grant, 2011).
Returning to school with a specific goal in mind adds more value to the experience. Give some serious thought to what you want to do with the degree. Are you looking to advance in your current field? Are you looking to change jobs completely? Are you looking to stay with your current employer?
Returning to school is something that most of us do not do in a vacuum. We need support from our family and friends. We need cheerleaders along the way when we hit that course that challenges us or when we want to pull our hair out from too many late-night homework sessions.
Returning to school means adding responsibility and time commitments to an already busy schedule. This means making adjustments in that schedule. In most cases, something has got to give and it’s usually our free time. However, this is an area where online programs can help. The time commitment and responsibility are there; however, you can choose the hours during the day you want to commit to it.
If this is a decision you are considering, check out this article from U.S. News. This article offers more good questions to consider as you prepare to take the step towards a Masters degree.