Is it the right time for you to go back to school? You spend all day at school, so why are you thinking of going back? Well, there are many reasons! A pay bump, new professional opportunities, and improved performance.That said, a master’s degree isn’t right for everyone. We’ve put together a quickSep 08, 2016
Is it the right time for you to go back to school?
You spend all day at school, so why are you thinking of going back? Well, there are many reasons! A pay bump, new professional opportunities, and improved performance.
That said, a master’s degree isn’t right for everyone. We’ve put together a quick list of the top questions to ask yourself before joining a master’s program.
1. Do you have an extra 20 to 30 hours a week?
It depends on the rigor of the program you select, the number of classes you take, how efficiently you work, and a variety of other factors, but most programs will require 20 to 30 hours a week. While online programs may seem like a smaller time investment, know that it’s not necessarily an easy way out: Hello, discussion boards!
2. Are you committed to spending $20,000?
Again, it depends on your program, but a master’s of education at Arizona State University (named a “Best Buy” public college) costs approximately $20,000, and at Northern Arizona University your degree can cost between $15,000 and $30,000, depending on the specific program. When you consider that the average increase in pay is $3,000 a year, you must be willing to wait before your investment pays off. (Pro tip: Financial aid exists for graduate students, too!)
3. Are you willing to take a break from teaching for two years?
If you answered no to question number two, you might think about applying for a graduate assistantship. A full-time graduate assistantship will typically cover the cost of your tuition and provide you a small stipend to help cover living expenses, which is usually around $1,000 a month. If you get a part-time job, you can easily get out of your program with no debt.
4. Do you enjoy school?
If you “couldn’t wait to get out of college and start working,” a master’s degree may not be right for you. A master’s program is like college all over again, only this time it may be more challenging. One of the main differences is that undergraduate programs force you to absorb knowledge while a master’s program asks you to create knowledge.
Sure, you still have to study, but much of your time will be spent thinking and talking about how to improve the field of education. This is arguably much more difficult than simply storing knowledge as an undergraduate student. It’s a long road to a master’s degree, and if you don’t enjoy the process it will be much more difficult for you to finish.
Still not sure if a master’s degree is right for you? Check out this advice from your fellow teachers.