Jump to content

Considering returning for a masters?


Recommended Posts

Okay so I finally achieved my bachelor degree and instead of getting that job I always wanted I'm making less money than I was in over 10 years ago. So now I feel a need to further my education so I can finally make what I feel is a descent income (40-60K a year is my goal). But I'm not sure if I should try for the standard MBA (Masters Business Administration) or MPNA (Masters in Public and Non-profit Administration). I'm leaning toward the latter because I think it would go nicely with my B.S. in Housing Studies Management & Finance. But would that leave me in the same boat? It's one of those rare degrees, just like the one I currently have that I have to explain because no one really knows what it's about. I really want to be on the business side of things rather than the social side of things.


First I plan to take the GRE exam, probably in April. An no insurance is not going well for me and that has been a big waste of time and money honestly. I thought since I was with a company I'd be making money after getting licensed, well it turns out I have to make a bunch of sales first reach a certain level and then I would make some money, something like that anyway. Anyway I'm not good at sales and I'm tired of working my tail off for nothing and losing money in the process.


Anyway is education a way to succeed or am I fooling myself again by thinking a masters degree may finally be my solution? I honestly really don't need more debt, what I really need a 2nd job, which I'm trying to get but failing there too.


Advice would be appreciated.

Link to comment

I agree with agent. I think a masters would really be worth it if you know what you want to do with it or have jobs in mind that take a certain degree. If you're concerned about too defined a degree, then I would go for the MBA. You'll get the business side and there are more and more programs that offer classes on non-profit business in their MBA programs.

Link to comment

I honestly don't know if you should go to a Master's right NOW if you're going to end up with more debt. I saw your thread in here complaining about the debt you already have. I know it could be different for you but my friend has an MBA and she's folding clothes in a store part-time right now. It's not like she has no experience, either. She worked in offices in the summers and was a manager of an athletic club. If you do do the master's you should look at grants for doing it or see if you can get a job as a teaching assistant while doing the program.

Link to comment

Jetta I think the problem here is you're focusing almost entirely on money. Yes money is important and yes it is necessary to make enough to afford a reasonable standard of living. However if you go to school and get a degree solely with money in mind you may find once you're in your career that you forgot to figure out if you'd actually like what you're doing.


I agree that it will not help you to get another degree that isn't instantly recognized in an industry you want to work in. If employers don't get it then your resume will often be tossed in the trash. If you do make it to the interview stage and spend much of that time explaining what your degree is that may leave an employer confused and passing you over.


I think you need to do some more career research before returning to school. Reach out to professionals in whatever field of interest and shadow them to see what they're actually doing all day. Ask them how they got there, what degrees they earned, how they paid for them, how they're doing now financially, and what future opportunities they have in their industry. Also ask them what other industries they could take their degree and skill set into in case the economy takes a dump, they burn out, or they have to relocate. Don't rush through this process because it is an important step in helping you determine what path is right for you.


Then once you've decided on career options and know which degrees will help you get there, figure out how you'll finance it. Perhaps you can get a job that will give you experience and some tuition reimbursement. Perhaps there are scholarships or fellowships you can apply for. Perhaps there is a school designed for working adults that will allow you to take classes nights/weekends while you work. Perhaps there will be another option you hadn't ever considered that will work out perfectly.

Link to comment

Do not count on 40k just because you have a Master's. It is a tough job market out there if you do not have much to differentiate yourself. The worst thing you can do is take on more debt to pay for grad school without any assurance it will pay off, especially when you have a job now that provides real income. My advice is to stick it out. Excel in your current role for a while and ask for a raise. Even if they say no, if you have a job you are succeeding in it puts you in a position of strength to find a new one.


Focusing on skills and not credentials will make you more marketable (and more valuable).

Link to comment

No no no no no! Education is a panacea for the middle classes unless you are getting a terminal degree that will take you into medicine, where a good GPA guarantees you at least 80 k per year even in the boonies. The MBA is something you do after work, with a company that will pay you to take classes.


My .02 cents



Link to comment

Education is an investment and you should evaluate it like you would any other investment. With how much certainty can you predict that spending this money will enable to you to earn enough later to not only pay back what it costs, but also to get you to the income level you want to be at? That's going to tell you what the risk level is. If you're comfortable taking that risk, go for it, otherwise don't. Typically, graduate degrees don't pay off.

Link to comment

A graduate degree is very specific. I don't think you will have much more luck with a grad degree vs a bachelors with such a broad major. If you were considering law school or med school, that would be one thing. I think a broad major grad degree is best obtained once you get on with a company and want to promote within.

Link to comment

I would not get your MBA just yet unless you plan on going nights two nights a week. Some folks say with the exception of just a couple fields, that a Master's sometimes flags them as "overqualified" for some positions. Some companies help you get your masters. if you were in the non profit sector and truly loved it but were finding that the people who were getting advancement all had master's degrees, then I could see you going for it. But for now, I just think its because you don't like selling insurance.


I think your best bet is to find a job you truly love - even go for a certification in something if you want - but hold off on the master's until you pay down your debt. (or at least just do the one class at a time thing if you REALLY think you know what you want.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...