A couple of questions for you:
1. I have still been thinking quite a bit about changing career paths and getting my MBA (I'm working in a university now), but I have two concerns with this path. A) Is the cost (roughly 40K) worth the payoff? B) Will I like the career path more than my current one? I have visited an MBA class and found the topic being discussed that day very engaging and something I was generally excited about, but it really was just one class session. Also, since I already have a graduate degree, is earning a second one really a value add?
2. If I stay in academia, I will likely not go on to a doctoral program since I have no interest in research work, but I worry that this course of action may stunt my career growth.
I think what I'm looking for is just a few guiding questions to help me better frame my ideas on these paths. I have tried to think of questions that would help me work it out, but it just isn't as good as asking you.
"It's just that I don't think I'm getting very much real-world knowledge through my courses," he complained. He was studying an undergraduate business degree, while running a small business to support his university studies. And he was finding his university classes a bit lacking. "It's good information if I wanted to work in corporate I guess," he conceded, "but I don't want to work in corporate. I want to do my own thing."
I recommended a leave of absence, and I'm pretty sure he'll end up dropping out of his bachelors degree. And I don't think this is a problem. If you know your goals, and it's not clear that university will support those goals, then university might not be the right place for you right now (I have very different advice for those in graduate school, you can read that here).
So what if, like this student, you don't feel like university is meeting your needs, but you still want to learn useful things? Maybe university feels too expensive, or the education isn't exactly what you're looking for, or maybe you have big things to do and university feels like it's going to take too long. Or maybe you've already done your university degree and you still feel like there's more you want to learn or practice?Read More
I had a student in my office this week. She was quiet, and polite, and asked her questions quite directly. "I'd like to make a career change. I'm thinking of a Masters in Professional Accounting. Can you tell me how to market myself so I can get a job?"
I get asked about Accounting as a career path more than any other professional discipline. Why? Accounting is on the list of Skilled Occupations for migration to Australia, so anyone coming here from overseas has an eye on that list for career paths that come with a visa. There are other reasons too, domestic students pick accounting because it's clear. It sounds practical. Sensible. Surely every business everywhere needs Accountants. It's one that Mom and Dad can understand, be proud of. "Jack is an Accountant." Nothing says "risk-free" like Accounting. I see a lot of risk-averseness in my office.Read More
I'm graduating this year, and I'm not sure if I should go on the job search, or if I should go to grad school. Should I go to grad school?
No. No you should not go to grad school. Are you listening? You should go to work.
Too many young people I talk to go to grad school because they don't feel really ready to face the working world. Maybe it's because you worry that you won't be able to compete for a job (maybe you've already been rejected for a few jobs that looked really good), or maybe it's that you don't really know exactly what you want to do yet.Read More
About a year into my graduate degree, I agonized about quitting. I was burned out by the juggle of life and school, I was watching my loans build, most of my courses weren't stimulating, and I was having major doubts about my chosen career path.
My experience is not unique. I hear this kind of thing more than you'd think from graduate students or post-grad students, folks in law school, PhD programs, or medical residency. Someone in this boat will go on to talk about how it seemed like the best thing to do at the time, but that working 80 hour weeks or the total lack of a life outside of whatever program they're in makes one reconsider their decision. Sometimes the feeling of regret and "can't go on" is even more extreme, like the med student who realized a year into her program that she actually doesn't want to be around sick people all day every day. Or, maybe you're a PhD student and the never-ending criticism and lack of support from your faculty members or grantors feels impossible to slog through any more. What do you do?Read More