- 3 years ago
I am off for the week and I am getting a little bored/pensive. I have been thinking a lot lately about my career path and what I really what to do. This has been in part driven by my boss literally asking where I want to go in our organization and me contemplating finishing my master’s degree.
Currently, I work at a public charter school as an administrator and on the leadership team. I manage a team of 7 and oversee marketing, student recruitment, family engagement and all administrative processes (i.e., front office staff, databases, records, etc). I kind of fell into the position almost 3 years ago and I truly do love it. I get to do everything from admin work to co-teaching an after school art class for 5th and 6th graders. I love the daily schedule and calendar year set up as well. The pay is great considering I am in the public/nonprofit sector and I really couldn’t ask for much more. Am I stressed quite often? Yes. But I figure that will happen no matter what I do because I get very emotionally invested in what I do. But, I know I won’t do this for the rest of my life.
My concern is, that I am contemplating finishing/getting my master’s degree. I started one 3 1/2 years ago in Public Administration. I only did it because my previous employer paid for all of it and I earned about 18 credits (half way toward a master’s degree). I stopped pursuing it though when I changed jobs. In all honesty, I don’t think it would be a super helpful degree because it isn’t particularly specific. However, it would be a master’s degree and could help with future leadership positions. I would only have to pay about $9,000 to finish it if I decided to do so.
On the other hand, I have thought about pursuing a master’s in Educational Leadership (without prinicipal licensure). I would have to start over from scratch though, as nothing would transfer and it would cost about $20,000 to complete (eek). It would only be helpful if I stayed in education administration though, which I am not sure if I will long term. I love the field, but don’t know if I will stay in administration (might move into education policy or work for an education nonprofit though). I have the potential to move up a little higher in my current organization (which I plan on staying at for at least 3 more years–signed a contract) and I wouldn’t need a master’s degree to do that.
I have also considered getting an Master’s in Business Administration. I plan on staying in the public/non-profit sector for the majority of my career, but can appreciate the business/financial perspective it does give. It could also be more versatile if I do choose to make the leap to the for profit sector. I also know many nonprofit professionals with MBA’s and at the end of the day, a nonprofit does need to have solid business practices. I have two credits from my previous grad work that would transfer, so it would cost about $16,000 to complete an MBA.
TO RECAP: I am contemplating finishing or starting a master’s degree program. My current employer does not offer educational assistance. I only have about $1,800 left in student loans to pay off from undergrad and have been working for 4 1/2 years. I am currently in a leadership position, with the potential to advance further without a degree.
My questions for those of you who pursued a master’s degree are:
- What did you do?
- When did you do it?
- Was it worth it/would you do it again?
- Could you have advanced without a master’s degree?