(Closed) Leave Grad School to Pursue Full Time Work?

posted 4 years ago in College
Post # 2
239 posts
Helper bee

I did. I was halfway through a program in Professional Counseling. I, too, wanted to stop, make more money, etc. Unfortunately, I’ve never gone back. I am NOT happy with my decision. I wish I’d just sucked it up, taken lower paying jobs, etc. I would be done and in a new career today. Instead, I’ve probably lost the credit hours I accrued. If I was you, I’d finish!

Post # 3
5090 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

ladyvictoria:  If there are job opportunities and the earning potential is better with the grad degree, then my advice would be to finish it. It’s only one more year. 

I never quit grad school, but I did 4.5 years of the shitty grad stipend and I know it sucks. I relied on my husband during that time, but we have combined finances, so I never had to ask him for money, it was all our money. Is that something you would consider? Or are separate finanaces really important to you?

Post # 4
4243 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I do not have any experience with this, but from what I read here, I think you and your husband need to work together as a team more.  I get that you want to support yourself but since you are married now and essentially one unit, I think you need to lean on him a bit more…and it’s OK to lean against him and rely on him at this point.  I am sure you would do the same for him if roles were reversed and he were in your shoes.  I would suck up this last year to get the degree.  You will likely be able to earn more money in the long term with your degree, so why not finish it now when your head is in the game?

Post # 5
374 posts
Helper bee

ladyvictoria:  I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to quit. Do NOT give up, it will be worth it in the long run! Do not put it on hold either, it will be harder to go back. Also, some classes may expire, forcing you to retake them. (Basing this off the fact that you will have minimal student loans and your field has decent pay and good job opportunitie).

Post # 6
16 posts

I’m in such a similar situation where I’m actually quitting a full time job to go to nursing school FT over the next year and a half. It stresses me out so much that I won’t be able to contribute much more than I already have for the wedding and even more that I only have a limited amount of funds to live off of aside from asking Fiance for help (which I know he doesn’t mind but, like you, it bothers me). Even still, i’m sticking to my decision to go to school because I know in the long run it’ll be worth it. More oportunities, benefits and higher pay. Struggle a little now and enjoy the benefits in the long run!

Post # 8
285 posts
Helper bee

I second finishing that degree for all the comments that you already received.  It’s only a year and if it can improve your job perspectives and long term salary outcome it’s worth it to stick it out.  I did and I’m so happy I have my masters.  It’s opened so many doors for me professionally and I know exactly how you feel because I am also fiercely independent and hated having to ask my husband at the time for anything.

Post # 9
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

ladyvictoria:  Finish your degree! You’ve invested time and money into this, and you’re SO close to finishing!

I can give you the perspective of being on the other side. My husband immediately went from undergrad to grad school and then onto law school, so he has been a student throughout the duration of our relationship (8+ years). I went straight to work after college, and eventually went back to grad school, but now am back in the work force again. I have never once resented my husband’s choices, and am 100000% happy to support him financially (and otherwise) during his years as a student. While yes, times have been tight financially (I’m a teacher, so I’m not bringing in tons of money), I have never once wished for my husband to have taken a different path. He works his butt off, and finally, after all these years, his hard work is about to pay off (he just graduated law school, is studying for the bar this summer, and starts his dream job in September).

If your husband says he is happy to support you, he means it. Take the generosity and sacrifice, because there will definitely be a time in your marriage when he will need/want you to do the same! I know it’s easier said han dnoe (my husband often feels guilty), but I promise it’s not a burden – it’s a honor to support your spouse in their endeavors, and to trust they would do the same for you.

Post # 10
1740 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Umm….yea, I quit my grad program for a full-time job in 1997.  Well, more specifically, I never finished my thesis because I started working a full-time job immediately after finishing my coursework.  I finally went back to finish in 2014, but of course by then I had to start all over again.  So I just finished in December 2015.  I really, really wish I had put the job off long enough to complete the program the first time.  I really encourage you to just plow through and finish.  Full-time employment will wait for you.

Post # 12
426 posts
Helper bee

I would finish school. One year is a small sacrifice in the span of your lifetime. Plus, you are getting your tuition covered! Do you have any idea how many people would kill for that? I am getting my MBA at night, none of my tuition is covered and I work 45hours a week. On top of that, I am the breadwinner and we in no way could live off my fiance’s income.


  I would kill for your situation!

Post # 13
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Vineyard on Long Island

finish your degree.  if you stop and take a job now with your existing credentials, the years and money you’ve already spent in grad school are essentially wasted.  earning the additional degree will give you the opportunity to potentially take a better job and will almost certainly get you a higher starting salary. 

i started working full time 6 months before i finished my degree (i was also getting impatient with not earning a paycheck) and was able to start full time work while preparing to defend my thesis.  I started at about 10% less pay than I would have if I had just waited until I had the degree.  Once I got the degree, they only gave me a 4% raise (instead of the full 10% I would have had if I had come into the company with the higher degree).  I’ve spent the past 2 years trying to recover from that.

Post # 14
1236 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I’ve never been in your position, but I do think that you are overestimating how easy it will be to go back and finish your grad program if you decide to leave.  As the years pass and life happens, it doesn’t get any easier to make less money.  You take on a mortgage, have a child, maybe have some unexpected medical expenses and it all gets much harder.  

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