Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Back to School

With the economy and its ups and down, people are still being laid off and staying stagnant in their current positions, this may cause you to ask yourself – Should I go back to school?  Maybe you want to enter a graduate program or finish a degree you left behind, either way there are questions you should consider before making such a prominent financial and time commitment.

   Why do you want to go back to school?

  • Maybe finishing a degree or obtaining an advanced degree, such as an MBA, will aid you in landing a better job or that promotion you’ve been missing out on.
  • Or you could be completely bored or turned off by your current role and looking to make a 180° change in another direction altogether.
  • Either way, always be sure you are doing it for the right reasons, not just something to do.

    Can you afford to go back to school?

  • Going back to school is a huge financial undertaking.  Will getting the degree pay off in the long run?
  • Another thing to ask yourself is if you can afford to go back to school.
    • Since the credit crisis it is more difficult to find school loans and financial institutions are now more inquisitive of your financial past.
    • Will you be able to complete a degree and still work full or part time?  Many schools now offer distance learning, but that depends on the type of program and degree.
    • If you do plan on working while attending school, look into your company’s benefits package.  Many companies do offer tuition reimbursement, but most will only compensate if you earn a certain grade.

Can you make the time commitment?

  • Life is ever changing and demanding.  If you plan to keep working while attending school will you be able to juggle both responsibilities?
  • Or maybe you have young children.  Will your significant other or family member be able to pick up the slack while you attend class or study?

Always consider what you may have to give up in order to make this all happen.  And also keep in mind that most programs are at least 2 years long and that’s if you attend full time.  Are you willing to make the sacrifice?  Will you be able to do it?

Joslyn Tchaicha is a KNF&T Branch Manager, and can be reached at