This entry has been sitting in the back of my mind for a long time (since 2013) and I finally decided to gather my thoughts and share with you if you were wondering if going back to school would be the best option for you.
As a alumnus of University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, Texas I can say I’m not only proud of my Bachelors degree but also the experiences I’ve received while there. Undergrad afforded me the opportunity to make mistakes and grow up. Unfortunately these results came at a pretty steep price tag. Would I do it again? Maybe. But I can say that going back to college for a Masters degree is out of the question. What was a steep price to pay for a Bachelor’s degree is astronomical for a Masters degree.
I can say that there are a few exceptions that I would encourage anyone to go back to college. Here’s why…
When Advanced Degrees Are Necessary
It’s important to understand that there are a few cases when having an advanced degree isn’t just helpful it’s a necessity if you want to advance your career. Through my experience, I’ve learned that the following career paths require advanced degrees:
Of course this isn’t a complete list, since I still have a lot more living to do, but this is just what I’ve come across in my time on this earth. If you’re looking to save lives, keep people out of jail or teach then I would suggest you have your tuition money ready.
When School Is No Longer Necessary
When you’re faced with the option to go back to school for more education, I would suggest you to think carefully. As I’ve expressed above, there are only a few career paths that require additional education so if you’re looking at a degree that focuses on business (for example) than you may be throwing your money away. Let me explain:
Back in 2013, I started to explore the possibility of continuing my education at The Ohio State University (OSU). I narrowed down my field of study to the MBA program and started to take my prep courses and tests. Fast-forward a few months later (and over $1,000) I still wasn’t admitted into the program. After failing to gain entry, I got curious about what I would receive in return for my investment if I reapplied to the program and get accepted. Here are some of the answers I received:
- Will I be guaranteed a job after graduation (Here comes the obvious answer)? No, but 92% usually finds a job 3 months after graduation
- Will graduating from the MBA program make me qualified to run a successful business? No
- What is the usual starting salary for an MBA graduate if they want to work in Media/Entertainment? Around $65,000
After receiving these answers the only stat that concerned me was the potential starting salary ($65,000) question because $65K was possible for me if I just switched jobs.
When Experience Outweighs Education
When I moved on from chasing the MBA dream I admit I was a little down. I was young and caught up in the idea that I needed an MBA to further my career. Somehow I ended up on the phone with my late mentor (RIP) and he gave me some great advice.
“Do you know what is more important than a degree?… Results. If you want to be the guy who shows results then you need experience, not a degree.”
After hearing this I felt like a light bulb exploded in my head. I’ve been chasing an MBA when I needed to gain more experience. He later revealed that graduating with a degree may help place me in the final running but a company will look at your previous experience will separate you from the competition. He ended our conversation with,
“Remember, when you have a proven track record of delivering results a degree won’t matter.”