About every six months, I get the idea in my head that I should go back and get my master’s degree. I spend hours, days researching programs, considering the cost, and musing over whether I should take my GRE. And then I don’t.
I’d love to get a master’s degree. I wish I could. But I’m not going to. Here’s why:
1. The Cost. I think this is a big DUH. A recent study found that 40% of the one trillion dollars of student loan debt in the U.S. is from graduate and professional degrees. The average debt for one of these degrees? $57,000. Since I’m still paying off the best for years of my life (aka my undergrad), it doesn’t seem like a brilliant idea to take out more student loans.
2. The GRE. I’m not a good test taker and I don’t feel like studying. #truth
3. Timing. I’ve told you before that I think about timing way too much. Even if I started studying for the GRE today, I wouldn’t be able to start grad school until the Fall of 2015. I’d be 27. That means I wouldn’t be done until I was 29. Now that I think about it, that sounds do-able. Whatever, I’ve got 5 more reasons on this list.
4. I don’t need it for my current job. I just don’t.
5. Non-profit employees aren’t generally making the big bucks. I know, shocker. Taking on a ton of debt to make a itty bitty bit of extra dinero doesn’t make much sense. Unlike being a lawyer, doctor, etc., most work in the non-profit world doesn’t absolutely require a master’s degree. Fingers crossed that in the future, my experience will count more than that piece of paper.
6. Location, location. Sometimes you have to relocate based on the grad school that you get in to. I’m not willing to uproot our lives for something I’m not confident that I want. This leaves me with only a few decent options for where I could go to school. Which brings me to this…
6. Would they even let me in? In all honesty, my undergrad grades weren’t great. I worked a lot in college but I also played a lot. School was not always my priority (though it should have been). I’m sure my work experience would more than make up for my mediocre grades, but still, it would suck big time to study and take the GRE’s only to get rejected.
7. The thing you aren’t supposed to say. I’d rather have a baby than a master’s degree. Not now. Not today. But in the next 5 years. I’ve even mentioned before that I’d consider being a stay-at-home mom. Right about the time I hope to start having kids, I’d have a fresh degree and debt to pay back. No, thanks.
For the record, if I did go back and get my master’s, I’m pretty sure I’d get it in Public Administration. After two years of working at a non-profit, I can say with complete confidence that no work will feel as good as work that is doing good.
I’m thankful that my Bachelor’s degree has allowed me to get a job I love. I have zero regrets about my choice of college, major, and college experience. They say a Master’s is the new Bachelor’s. I just can’t agree with that (who’s “they” anyway?). A Bachelor’s is a Bachelor’s but perhaps I’ll never be a Master.
If you have a master’s degree, are you glad you got it? Was it worth it? If you don’t, do you share my hesitations?