If you feel like your career is stagnating, returning to school might be just the thing you need to do. It's not just about giving you the qualifications you need to stand out, but also helping you to realize what you want to do. I went back to get my MBA in 2012, a decade after I had been practicing law. I will tell you that going back to school was invigorating and got me excited about my career again. Before you make that decision, you might want to consider a four factors for deciding if going back to school that are outlined here.
Is It Worth It?
Going back to school, whether it be law school or acupuncture school, can be a huge investment of both time and money. So before you decide if it's the right choice, you need to weigh up the pros and cons. Is what you will get out of it going to be worth what you have to put in? For some people, the answer will be obvious, but others might need to consider it a bit more carefully. For me I had to weigh two things when it came to costs. The first was the education at the school I got into worth it? I could have done some programs but I really wanted to make sure I was going to get a lot out of going back to school. When I got into the school I eventually attended I knew it was a good choice. The second was how was I was going to finance or change my lifestyle to make sure I could afford it. Both questions were important to me.
Can You Fit It Into Your Life?
When you're a fully-fledged adult, thinking about going back to school can be tough. You might have a family and a job you don't want to risk giving up. Relocating might not be an option, and you could feel you don't have a lot of available time. You need to think about if and how you would fit going back to school into your schedule. I will tell you going to school full l time and working full time was totally exhausting. Just be prepared for that and ask your friends and family to support you! I think I only had clean clothes because my husband helped get me through those two years. There are several options like online courses that you can take at your own pace. My school was on weekends and I happened to have every other friday off so that was really convenient for me to choose that program.
Might Your Employer Support You?
If you're currently employed, is there a possibility your employer would support you as you study. This doesn't necessarily have to mean they would pay for your expenses. They could support you by allowing you flexible working hours so you can study, for example. You will need the flexibility because many programs have study abroad trip that you may need to take an extended period of time off. My company was kind enough to do both (support me with time and and it was really great to have their support! Some of my co-workers even came to my graduation!
Choosing the Right Degree
If you've made the decision to go back to school, you need to choose the right degree. Consider what your goals are to help you decide. I had been a lawyer at a law firm for a long time but then I moved in-house (an attorney working directly for a company as opposed to working for a law firm). I did not understand how a business really ran and frankly I was behind in business terminology so for me it was important to gain that skill set to support my business better. Have a look at the infographic below to compare some popular business options. And if you have any advice for those choosing to go back to school, spill the beans in the comments!
St. Bonaventure Infographic Reveals What's the best graduate degree for me?
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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