Post # 1
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
This unfortunately is not my first time considering leaving my grad program to pursue a full-time job. Last fall right after my (now) husband proposed, reality set in that we were not going to be able to afford a bigger, traditional wedding anytime soon. But all of that ended up working out. I’m a full time grad student in a higher education administration master’s program and have one year left. I work as a graduate assistant, which means I work about 30 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters in exchange for my tuition and I get a very small stiped ($1500 split into 4 payments for the fall and spring semesters) in addition to meals on campus. So I’m grateful that my expensive tuition is covered, but I’ve had to take out a small loan to get by without relying 100% on my hubby. I also work part-time outside of my assistantship, but hours are limited and that money goes quickly.
I’ve worked full-time before and am used to making more money than I do now, so it’s hard to rely so much on my husband, even though I know he’s glad to provide for us both. I’ve tried to get more comfortable with it, but I still cannot bring myself to ask him for money for anything ever, and I rarely accept it when he offers. I know that this is a personal issue that I need to try to work through. Anyways, I wanted to give that background because I chose to pursue this degree because I knew it’s a field that I enjoy working in and can make decent money. I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about it, and I can see myself doing other things in other fields. I’m open to exploring other options, from human resources to real estate/property management. This is why I am considering applying to a couple full-time jobs that only require a bachelor’s and a few years of experience in the field, which I have.
Have any of you stopped or put your graduate studies on pause to pursue a full-time job? How did it work out for you in terms of your career? Did you ever go back to complete your degree? Are you happy with your decision? I figure it couldn’t hurt to apply to these jobs and see what happens. If I don’t hear back, then I can just stick it out for another year and be qualified for more opportunities a year later. But part of me feels that I’m not 100% committed to this field and I’m tired of the financial strain I’m feeling, so I should just go for something else. I know I’d likely have more earning potential with a master’s vs a bachelors and a few years of experience, but I could always finish my degree on a part-time basis if I felt the need. Any advice would be appreciated!
Post # 2
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
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
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
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
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 # 7
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
SithLady: I know that it makes sense to just suck it up and finish the degree, but I have a hard time not being able to bring more to the table, financially. I know it’s just temporary, but I really hate being in this situation. It stresses me out to see my checking account balance dwindle. We’ve only been married for 2 months (this Wednesday!) and always planned on opening a joint account, it’s just one of those things that we haven’t made the time to do. He did bring up doing it this week, and he definitely approaches things as his money is ours, and I would do the same if I actually had any right now.
ljm308: My husband is great about it, I’m the one that can’t get over not being independent. I’ve never relied on a man for anything until my husband, not even my own father. It’s just foreign to me and so hard to go with it. I appreciate him so much and I know he’d do anything to make sure I’m provided for. I just beat myself up for not being able to contribute financially right now.
marriedbeeexpecting: Thanks for the encouragement! I know that my credits wouldn’t expire and I could easily transfer them to another institution if I needed to. I actually left undergrad to pursue something else (got my cosmetology license) then went back to finish my BA. When I’m determined to do something, I do it. I understand that it would be harder to put it off then go back later, especially if we throw children into the mix, but I know I’d be able to do it. I just question whether or not I really want this bad enough if I could get a good paying job without the master’s.
kaydeewedd: Good for you! I guess the struggle has gotten all too real lately. I would have been fine if my car didn’t need $1500 in repairs that I wasn’t prepared to spend, but had to since we’re too busy to share just one car. I’m doing an unpaid internship for my program this summer and a few hours at my part-time job that I work throughout the semester, and it’s been hard to find another job that works around these two committments, even something seasonal or online/work from home. End rant lol
katbee1980: Thank you for sharing your experience and the encouragement!
Post # 8
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
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
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 # 11
- Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY
annb9: You sound like a wonderful wife! How you feel about your husband is exactly how mine feels about me… He just wants me to be happy and pursue my education/career without worrying about money right now, which is appreciate more than I can put into words, but it’s still a struggle for me. I know it will pay off to just push through and get this degree now, but whenever money gets tight, I feel like I made a mistake by not working full-time right now.
sortawaitingbee: It will definitely pay off… I guess I just need to hang in there.
Post # 12
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
- 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
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.