Originally Posted by muddy
I'm considering applying to grad school and would be curious to get some thoughts from the community on how they would weigh the costs against the benefits.
Little background on my financial situation. I'm 26 and single with no kids. I make ~$85K/year base salary. Bonus is discretionary but should put me close to six figures. On pace to max out IRA and 401(k) (and hopefully HSA as well) this year. Currently have ~$70K saved almost entirely in retirement accounts. I owe ~$35K on student loans from undergrad and have no other debt (no car, no mortgage, no CC debt, etc).
I'm interested in grad school for four main reasons.
1) I think that it is nearly a requirement to maximize income in my field.
2) Much of what I do is technical. A masters degree would enhance skills (i.e. it would be more than a piece of paper.)
3) I think the programs that I'm looking at would be intellectually stimulating and I would enjoy the coursework
4) Lastly being back in school might provide some flexibility for endurance training and travel (two activities that I enjoy but can be challenging to do right when w*rking a lot)
However, I'm a little hesitant to take a year off and forgo income while taking out more loans (and/or blowing through my savings) to finance a degree. One workaround might be to go part-time and try to get an employer to pay for at least some of it, but that does not appeal to me. Most of the programs I am interested in are not available part-time and I previously started a part-time MBA program (did not finish, old employer paid 100%) and found balancing work and school to be both grueling and unsatisfying as most of my classmates (and myself) did the minimum amount of work to get through because they were busy with other obligations.
I think that if I did go back to school it would likely pay for itself (over time), but I could still do fine without it. I'd like to go back to school, but am not crazy about the idea of starting over on savings/student loans at a time when I feel like I'm just starting to make good progress on both of those fronts. Curious what others would do/consider if in my situation...
My 2 cents.
"If you leave the huddle, you never know who will go into the huddle"
Bill Parcels to Curtis Martin
Sounds like you have a good job. Just because you will be "more qualified" in the future, doesn't mean that you can do as well jobwise.
If you have to go into debt to do this, that should be a clear sign that the demand is not there.
Mark Gibson MBA