“Decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you want to be.” Author Unknown
One day about a Decade ago I decided to make the choice to quite my “well paying” job to make the decision to go to graduate school for a career that really interested me. It was a lot of hard work, time, and effort, but I made it through all the hoops and graduated. I absolutely love what I do and more days than not, I feel like I made the right choice and decision for me. But in my opinion, there is so much more involved.
It’s just kind of disheartening to find out that today, I am still not earning the salary I earned prior to going back to school for the two graduate degrees that I earned. I know it’s the field that I chose, that it is also the field that fit’s with my personality. It’s like when people as a teacher why they choose to teach with all the abuse and low pay. That teacher will usually tell you that he or she loves what they do. Would he or she like to be earning more money and getting more respect? Of course! The worse part for me is now I am finding out the people who have either no college or at minimum a Bachelor’s degree earn probably two to three times more salary than I. Ouch! It hurts my ego just to hear those words. I don’t wish to take anything from those people, I just think that either people with advanced degrees should earn more, or they should not be required to incur student loans in hopes that they will finally earn a higher salary.
I guess one of the major questions readers might have, is “would I have chosen to leave my “well paying job” to go back to school full-time if I actually knew the outcome? That is so difficult to say. I don’t work mostly for money. Money is not my motivator and never has been. That being said, it does not mean that I am willing to give up my services, knowledge, and experience for almost a pittance of pay. Hearing that someone I deal with earns six figures and he or she does not have even one degree is not something warm and fuzzy for me. I don’t blame them, I blame whatever system caused this problem.
So my message to you in this post, is to be sure you know why you are making the choice you are making before you jump ahead and make the final decision to change careers by investing heavily in a higher education. Very seldom does it pay off. Even engineers who have invested time and many times money in MBS’s find that it does not move his or her position in the company. They don’t make any higher salary for that higher education. I realize that some companies might recognize the higher education as a plus for their company, but most companies don’t give a shit what letters you have behind your name.
Back to the title of this post; on a personal note it was worth it to me to go back to graduate school because I now own my own business. Would I do it again, I think I would do a little more research before quitting a well-paying job to earn almost nothing. I also have no benefits other than making my own hours. And if I earn enough money, I can decide my own salary. Unfortunately, many weeks I have had to decide not to pay myself because of overhead.
Remember, the choice comes first then the Decision Follows…