Author Topic: Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?  (Read 3091 times)

PeachFuzzStacher

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Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?
« on: November 05, 2014, 10:14:48 AM »
Hey all,
I'm currently working as a software developer making a pretty good salary ~100k as I'm 7 years into the profession.  A year and a half ago, I decided to pursue my M.S. in Business and Information Systems to get some decent chops in the management side of things.

Anyway, my current employer offers $2500 per semester, max 5k/year in tuition reimbursement.  Each class costs $3500, and I'll need to take 5 more.  Currently I'm only taking one at a time to maximize this reimbursement, but feel like it's really dragging on.  I'm married with a house and would like to start having kids soon.  Taking one class while working full time feels just as stressful as when I started off taking two.  If I took two classes at a time, I'd be done by spring 2016.  Otherwise, we're talking spring 2017.

Any subjective thoughts?
Thanks!

chuckaluck

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Re: Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 12:09:21 PM »
Hi, Just a question before I (perhaps others) weigh in on this:  Once you get your MS, will you work for the same company and get a raise?   

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 12:58:49 PM »
It's hard to imagine a scenario in which you are better off spending your own money on a degree your employer is willing to pay most of. Unless you were going to get quite a substantial raise when you finished.

That said, there is obviously more involved here than money. I understand the urge to get done so you can have a baby. But... what if you pay all that money to finish early, and then pregnancy (can't tell if you are a potential dad or potential mom) doesn't happen right away? Took us 18 months to conceive Big Brother. Anyway, you need to sit down with your spouse and talk this through. Is one of you going to quit work or scale back, post-baby?

Full disclosure: I spent three and a half years working on a two-year master's because I had babies while in school and took a lighter load. But I was not working then.

PeachFuzzStacher

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Re: Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 02:06:16 PM »
Quote
Hi, Just a question before I (perhaps others) weigh in on this:  Once you get your MS, will you work for the same company and get a raise?   
- There's nothing automatic about the raise.  It would make me somewhat more marketable and will give me the ability to teach in college part time.

Quote
(can't tell if you are a potential dad or potential mom)
- Potential dad.  I'm hoping for my wife to be able to stay at home as long as she would like to.  We do, however live in NJ, which doesn't get a good rap on this site due to the cost of living.

Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 04:08:17 PM »
I worked full-time while also going to school full-time for my master's degree. It was extremely hectic and stressful, but, I did get it over and done with very, very quickly. I just got myself into the zone and buckled down because I didn't want to be in school any longer than I had to be. I also worked at the university where I was getting my degree because they paid my tuition.

olivia

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Re: Grad School - Slow and steady, or get through it?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 07:20:28 PM »
I would power through and pay the extra costs out of pocket to get done.  If it opens up the ability for promotions/raises it will likely pay for itself pretty quickly.  I had tuition benefits (worked for a university) when I got my master's degree, which ended up actually costing me about $1700 per class out of pocket due to taxes.  (Graduate tuition benefits above $5250 are considered taxable income and the university was private so each class was $5k.) 

I ended up getting a job offer (huge raise and huge promotion) at another university before I finished my thesis.  I'm super glad I powered through quickly because it opened the door to this job.  And even if I hadn't finished it and had landed the job without the degree, I would have been stuck with half a degree, and there is no way I would have paid $5k a class on my own to finish it.