If you feel stalled in your career, or you believe you can’t get a good paying job without a college education, you may be wondering if you should go back to school to get a bachelor’s, master’s or even doctorate degree.

You also may be wondering if you should pursue that two-year certification program.

And that’s the big question: should you go back to school?

Read below for some tips to help you decide if returning to the halls of academia really is a good idea for your particular goals, desires and financial situation.

  • Just because you believe you should go back isn’t a good enough reason. You need to really think carefully about your goals, desires and the things that attract you about the type of learning you’re considering. Only return to school if you’ve thought about these questions carefully and thoroughly. Never go back on a whim.
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be a great asset to your career. But not if the expected return on your investment is dwarfed by the cost of pursing the education. In other words: how will you pay for school? Will you work full time and attend part time? Or will you take on a part-time job while you attend your educational program full time? How much money in loans are needed and how long will it take you pay off the cost of the degree on the increased salary you expect to earn as a result obtaining it?  Will it be hard to find work in your field – or is the salary too low? – and would that counter the cost of the degree? In other words, how can you be sure that the degree truly is a good return on your financial investment?
  • In the case of taking on an educational program that’s fairly different from what you’re doing now, how will you know that you’ll actually like working in the new career? Tales abound of English majors going back to school for an MBA only to find they don’t really like business! If you’re thinking of taking a new direction in your career, at the very least, talk to people who are in the career sector you’re thinking of now to get an idea of what it’s like to work within it. And, if at all possible, see if you can work in the sector a bit (by internship, volunteering or taking a part- or full-time job within it) before spending a lot of money in an educational program.

Working temporary or short-term positions in a business sector you’re thinking of pursuing as a career is a great way to find out if you’d actually like it in the long run. If you live in the NYC area, contact the recruiters at Winston Resources; we have temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities with some of Manhattan’s top companies. We look forward to hearing from you.

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