Sometimes the degree we went to school for, and the reality of the job market clash and leave us feeling empty. You begin to question if you chose wrong when you selected your major. You may even fantasize about going back to school.
It’s a tempting prospect—whether you’re longing for the carefree days of college or a brighter future (or both). But is going back to school really the answer?
Here are four questions you should ask yourself before making your decision:
What do you hate about your current career/job?
One of the first things to consider is your motive. Think about why you are unhappy with your current job. If it is simply your work environment that has you down, it may be time for a job change—not a degree change. If it is just your job—apart from quitting, Cathy Goodwin offers these ten suggestions.
What will you major in and why?
Going back to school is a major commitment. Mostly because it’s requires time and money. You need to make sure your new degree is something you want to major in, as opposed to simply being something other than what you’re doing now. If you aren’t sure, you could end up right back in the same position, once again regretting your choice of major. If you’re unsure, you can explore your interests at bigfuture.org.
How you pay for it/How much will it cost?
You may not want to think about money, but you should seriously consider how you are going to pay for school. Don’t just think about tuition- think about where you will live and how you will pay for food. You may find that keeping your day job and going to school at night is the best option. Also, be sure to check with HR at your current job and see if your company offers tuition reimbursement.
What job opportunities does the degree offer?
The whole reason you’re going back to school, presumably, is because you are unsatisfied in your current career path and/or your current degree. In order to be sure you won’t wind up in the same place again, consider the opportunities that the new degree provides. If you will be taking on debt in order to go back to school, you’ll also want to know the average salary so you can repay that debt. In other words, make sure your new degree is worth it.
In the end, whether or not you go back to school is up to you. Think about why you’re unhappy. If a degree change is in order, be sure your new degree is right for you. Consider how you will pay for your education and the opportunities and average starting salary in that field. This is your second chance—go for it, but be realistic.
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