Post # 1
Hello bees. This is OnceUponATime’s Fiance (I was instructed to address myself as this). I usually tease my “FI” about being on here with remarks such as “How is the hive today?” and “Did you assassinate the queen bee yet?’, but now I look to you for advice.
I graduated with a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and currently hold a position with a state government environmental agency. As an undergraduate, I developed a strong passion for fisheries conservation and management and focused my studies and extracurricular work toward this profession. My dilemma is that my current profession deals nothing with fisheries, instead I sit at a desk and stare at a computer for eight hours (I took the job because I was going to be laid off from my previous position, for retirement purposes, and job security). There are currently 2 biologists in my office, one of which is retiring in 4 years. My current thought is that while the skills that I am obtaining in my current position are useful, I will be limited when I apply for a biologist position.
I thoroughly enjoyed and excelled in all of my major core classes in college. It was much more fun than work for me. Therefore, I have been conteplating going for my Master’s degree to further my education and experience in fisheries. Besides wanting to further my education, I feel as though I may be holding myself back by not getting a Master’s because I may not be reaching my full potential. On the flip side, I would be leaving a government job that the majority of people would be elated to have.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? Has anyone experienced anything similar to this?
I thank all of you in advance for any replys.
Post # 3
You’ll only consider the school thing so for long. It’d be a bummer if you decided against it and just stuck with something you’re not truly in love with, and then never went back to school because you feel it’s “too late.” My vote is to have at it! More education will NEVER harm you. Unhappiness and feeling unfulfilled will!
Post # 4
Is part-time pursuit of the masters degree an option? If not, I would follow the education dream unless the lost income would result in financial hardship. I wouldn’t want this dark cloud of feeling like I missed my calling hanging over my head (which is precisely why I too am following higher education goals instead of earning money as a college graduate). Figure out if you can still keep food on the table without your job, and go from there.
Post # 5
Is there any way that you can keep your job AND go back for your Master’s? I’ll be honest, I’m on my 3rd post-undergrad degree. I’ve worked through all of them.. Yes, it can be tough, but totally worthwhile. You keep your job, gain experience, and continue your education. Unfortunately, I don’t know a whole of about your area of expertise, so I don’t know what the Master’s programs look like. I did my Master’s on campus, but am going for my two post-master’s degrees through a cohort, and LOVE IT!
Post # 6
@OnceUponATime: This depends on how much the degree costs, and could you at least work part-time for some income. Will you and your fiancee (OnceUponaTime) have health insurance during this period? Do you currently have student loans you’d be adding to? I realize this is a tough spot, and while right now I totally get the “not being fulfilled” part and just needing the job security– just beacuse you get your master’s does not necessarily mean that more opportunities will be open to you (that sounds harsher than it was meant to be). I have a masters in a different field that fisheries, but sometimes it kills me how I’m overqualified for positions that ARE available and while they don’t pay a lot, they pay more than the nothing I make just babysitting. Does that make any sense?
Post # 7
This is me (OnceUponATime). Fiance will check the responses a little later. Just to fill you in with his degree, it’s only possible to be a full-time student. He would be a research assistant and teach undergrad courses. Some programs offer a stipend of $14000-16000/year. If he heads to school full-time (depending on where we move) I may be able to find a position as a teacher, but it certainly isn’t a guarantee so it would definitely be financially challenging! Also, we would not have medical, dental, or eye insurance.
To add another curveball, I’m also hoping to begin a Master’s program soon, too!
Post # 8
@OnceUponATime: Well, I’m completely biased, since I myself am currently a research assistant in a physiology lab and a TA for an undergraduate biology course. I love it, and he’d make more than I do! I understand your budgetary concerns, and you should definitely come up with some contingency plans for worst case scenarios if he leaves his job, but I personally would absolutely go for the grad school plan.