Those of us millennials who are in our late twenties/early thirties have been in the working world for quite some time now. Many of us are beginning to realize that our bachelor degrees are not quite the guarantees of long and lucrative careers we were once promised they would be. More and more, bachelor degrees are more akin to the high school diploma of the past — something everyone is expected to have for even the most basic, entry-level jobs.
This is incredibly frustrating, but the unfortunate reality these days is it’s becoming increasingly necessary for people to get an advanced degree, like a master’s, in order to stay competitive and promotable in today’s job market.
Looking at the possibility of a stagnant career is terrifying, but most of us have so many adult responsibilities and obligations that it’s hard to fathom finding time and money to get another degree. But with with enough ambition and current technology, going back to school as an adult is more achievable than you think.
Get an Online Degree
Getting a degree online is perfect for busy adults with full-time jobs. There are a lot of myths about attending school online, but most of them are outdated and untrue. One common myth that people tend to cling to is that degrees earned online are not as legitimate or respected as traditional degrees; this may have been true 10 or 15 years ago, but these days online degrees are exactly the same as traditional degrees, except for the location of study.
Traditional school might be better for young and fresh graduates going straight to a master’s after their undergrad degree, but for people going back for the sole purpose of learning and furthering their skills and education while still maintaining their jobs and responsibilities, online is the way to go. Online schooling allows people to work on classes and homework around their personal schedule, rather than the other way around. This gives people the freedom to take classes in their spare time and finish their degree at a pace that works for them — perfect for people with full-time jobs and families.
Money is tight, especially for those of us still paying for student loans from our first degree, but there are ways to finance continuing your education.
For people who are looking to advance in their current career and workplace, it might be lucrative to look into getting their schooling paid for by their employer. Some companies already subsidise their employees educations; these companies usually know it’s mutually beneficial to offer tuition reimbursement, and they offer to pay for courses that are pertinent to their business. Depending on the company, these could be management or business classes, though many other courses may qualify based on your career field. Even for companies that don’t readily offer this benefit, it’s worth it to see if you can convince them to pay for your education; you’d be surprised at how many employers would be willing to invest in their loyal employees with a little convincing.
If you are looking to take time off work and devote yourself full-time to school, there are ways to get your master’s program paid for. One common way is find a school that offers assistantships to their qualified graduate students. Assistantships usually involve either teaching an undergraduate class or assisting in research on a university project relevant to the student’s intended degree. Most graduate school assistantship programs will waive or significantly reduce student fees, and may also offer a monthly living stipend.
As much as we millennials hate to admit it, getting a masters is becoming necessary to move up in our careers and salary potential. Fortunately, it’s more convenient than ever to work a master’s program into our busy adult lives.