For many people who are laid off and having trouble finding another job, the lure of going back to school for an advanced degree is a powerful one. Yet it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Many factors are involved. You need to weigh your motivation, your career objectives, the projected growth of your preferred career profession, and the health of your bankbook and financial investments. In this and subsequent posts, we will examine the pros and cons of pursuing further education.
Why are you considering a return to school? Is it to add a valued credential, such as an M.B.A., to your resume? Is it to lay the foundation for a change in careers? Is it a way to make new contacts to help you find your next job? Or is it simply a way to “hide out” and take a vacation from the stress of the job search? If it’s the last reason, you need to revisit and reflect deeply on your motivation.
The most important question to ask yourself is “What can I reealistically expect from earning an advanced degree? Will it enable me to increase my marketability, secure a better job, facilitate a career change, or help me launch a consulting practice? The answers to these questions cannot be arrived at by wishful thinking; rather, the answers can only be found through committed research and informational interviewing. Gather as much information as possible before making a decision.