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Saturday, July 23

Should I Go Back To School?

I've been toying with the idea of going back to school for a while. About once a year, I have this "what am I doing with my life?" internal conversation that leads me to graduate school considerations. I've thought about a MBA and various master's programs, but I've never been really sure.

Then I had a conversation with one of my mentors about my dilemma, and he gave me one simple piece of advice that changed the dialogue of my internal struggles. "Don't go back to school unless you know what you're going for."

"Well, I'm going back to school to gain more knowledge, get more credentials and become more attractive to employers," was my natural response. But my mentor wasn't convinced. And actually, neither was I. His concern was that many people go back to school without good reason. He challenged me to think about what I really wanted to do and be and analyze which degree, if any, would help me get there.

The truth was, I didn't know explicitly how a MBA or other master's degree could help me in figuring out my life's purpose or reaching my career goals. I wasn't even sure what my career goals were. So, my mentor was right. I needed to ask myself more questions before deciding to pay out $60,000 to a university without knowing what I would get in return.

This year, when the "what am I doing with my life" conversation surfaced and school, once again, became a consideration, I was ready. I had done enough introspection and trial and error over the past year to know what program I wanted to investigate and why.

So, here's what I learned.

Going back to school is a common consideration for people when they question the course or purpose of their lives, but sinking tens of thousands of dollars into a degree without a clear understanding of how it relates to career aspirations is misguided.

1 comment:

C ROLLS said...

@goddesszuri good point, an effective purpose seeking method you shared awhile back was envisioning where you want to see yourself down the road. why don't you stretch it a little further and ask yourself where and what and how you want to see yourself, how you want to interact with people, but maybe most important "what impact do you want to live on this earth...from that you maybe your vision and mission will become clearer and the paths to get to vision may begin to unfold