The Pros/Cons of an Online Masters

Blogger Andrew G.R. flirts with the possibly of continued education.

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Ten years removed from college, and for the first time in a decade, I'm flirting with the idea of continuing my education. I'm honestly not sure where this newfound idea is rooted. Boredom? Ego? A challenge? Thirst for knowledge? The truth will shake out over the next few weeks as I begin to familiarize myself with the GMAT, online programs, and the positive/negatives of the endeavor. (My sneaking suspicion is that the MATH will ultimately keep me away.)

Here are some questions that need to be answered before I move forward:

  • What will I study and how will it help my career?
  • Will an advanced degree help me at my current job or is a company/career switch necessary?
  • How will I pay for it? What's the ROI?
  • Even though my job doesn't outwardly offer tuition reimbursement, is there a way I can convince them to foot the bill?
  • Do I have the time to commit?
  • Are there other alternatives that can satisfy my list of pros? Perhaps a certificate program?
  • How important is the name of the school attended? What if they only have an online presence? (Stay away from diploma mills and understand the differences between nationally and regionally accredited schools.)
  • Here's a quick hit of pros/cons on obtaining an online masters.

    PROS:

    • Expanded base of knowledge
    • Resume enhancer
    • Ego booster
    • CONS:

      • Studying for test
      • The expense
      • Time required to choose a school
      • What's on your list of pros/cons? And what other questions do you think should be asked?

        Gosh, it sure would be nice for an online school to approach me and have me blog about the entire experience in exchange for an education...

        In the meantime, I'm making it a mission to uncover some answers before I move forward.

        After holding down various media jobs, including stops at MTV Networks and Fox News, Andrew G.R. was completely discouragednot only about his own career but about the lack of job resources that truly spoke to him. Enter Jobacle.com, the employment blog and podcast designed to Make Work Better.

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        Attention all resume writers: Blogger Andrew G.R. is now holding the Jobacle Resume Challenge. Rewrite G.R.'s resume and get a shot at stardom. If you win you'll get a few prizes—including promotion in a three-month banner posted on Jobacle.com.