Let me first say that I’m 100% an advocate for education. Honestly, if I were talking to a group of high school students, I'd without hesitation preach to stay in school.
But, this article isn’t for high schoolers…or even first-time degree seekers. This is for my people who’ve already achieved 1 or 2 or so degrees and want to go back and get yet another. My “I’ll just go back and get my MBA” when things get tough in their careers type of people.
It’s nothing to feel embarrassed about. I'm a full-time Career Coach and business owner who does not utilize some of the degrees/certifications/trainings I've earned in my career today, either. In all transparency, I’ve made poor education investments when I had no clue about what I wanted to do in my career. Boy…if I knew then what I know now, I’d be more financially free!
Consider my story as your testament that degrees do not save careers. Smart decision-making saves careers.
Before you spend another dime on a degree, consider this first!
1. If you’re feeling stuck, stop what you’re doing and meditate on what you really want out of life. When feeling confused or uncomfortable, the pressure of ‘figuring life out’ can sometimes lead us to making rushed decisions (even when weighing the life-changing ones). Well, in the case of getting a master’s or MBA degree, it's a very expensive decision to make. So, it's best to self-reflect and look back at what you like and what you know you're good at when you get to the point of feeling stagnant in your career. You may find that you don’t need to spend that kind of dime to get there.
2. You need to make very smart decisions on a school and degree program. Truthfully, not all education investments hold enough value to bring a good return. As we’ve discussed, grad school could cost you a pretty penny, and it’s a huge commitment, too. If you decide to go for it, make sure that you’re very strategic in your approach. Meaning, you’ve chosen a program that aligns with XXX kind of job that you really want – versus something compulsive like the plethora of niche master’s programs out there. Or, you're pursing a school that has a good reputation for your particular field.
3. Obtaining another degree alone won't save your career if you have major experience, skills or competency gaps. Have you considered that it might not be exactly necessary for you to further your education to advance in your field? Let’s say you’re still very early in your HR career and desire to advance to a manager or director level. Consider gaining more on-the-job experience before you go on to pursue an MBA in HR Management. There may be options that cost less than 100K (i.e. certifications, networking, self-education, etc.) available to you.
4. Some companies do pay for employees to advance their education. Hey! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a degree you don’t need or use if you don’t need to pay for it! (Just kidding) But, your current company or dream job may offer all sorts of education benefits to help pay for your advanced degree. Some reimburse a percentage of tuition, and others even better, offer a full ride! Grow with a company first, and you may find yourself getting more educated on someone else’s dime.
Now, I'd love to hear how this article has helped changed your perspective.
Simply hit 'reply' for any follow-up questions, or leave a comment. Feel free to pass along this info to your network!