Skip to content
BOL Conferences Top Gun 23
Learn More - Click Here!

Thread Options
#1965766 - 09/30/14 06:41 PM Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working?
jaenelle Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 50
Kansas
I'm contemplating going back to school and getting a master's degree in economics. My bachelor's is in English literature, so I'd need to take some undergrad economics, statistics, calculus before even starting on the master's, but I do have 15 years of banking experience.

I've got a full-time job (that I can't afford to quit or go part-time on) and a second-grader. Am I crazy to even consider this?
Last edited by jaenelle; 09/30/14 06:41 PM.
_________________________
-- Kati (President)

Return to Top
Chat! - BOL Watercooler
#1965772 - 09/30/14 06:59 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
MyBrainHurts Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 960
Illinois
I have seen people get a masters while working, but you really have to manage time well and have a supportive spouse.

I did it the opposite way. Also an English major, I taught HS for two years, then quit to get my MBA. We had no kids at the time, so my wife quit her job at the same time, and we moved to her hometown. She found a job right away and after a few tight months, I got an grad assistantship that paid for school. Good thing, because we had a baby half-way through the program.

My MBA program had courses for students who did not have an undergrad degree in Business. The compressed two semester of undergrad econ and accounting into single semester courses, which made for a ton of homework.

I think that will be the toughest part for you, fitting in the homework while caring for a secondgrader. I remember a lot of late nights crunching numbers, interrupted by diaper changing.
_________________________
I thought getting old would take longer.

Return to Top
#1965775 - 09/30/14 07:03 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
DoS Offline
Gold Star
DoS
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 264
one state over
I got my master while working full time (with a newborn). fortunately my wife stayed home with the kid at that point. I actually took an accelerated evening program so I got it done in half the time, I had absolutly NO free time. I didn't go hunting for 2 years, I didn't take a vacation (year round program) I worked and studied.

honestly I am still unsure if it was worth it. Not that it wouldn't be worth it for you but i'm pretty sure I could have gotten my current job with or without it and I have a lot of debt from it.
_________________________
CRCM

"Strip the Flesh, Salt the Wound" - Krieg

Return to Top
#1965783 - 09/30/14 07:15 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
HappyGilmore Offline
10K Club
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,608
Pulling people out of the ditc...
several of the local universities offer a Friday/Saturday every other week schedule...of course, that would require your work to allow you to do that, but it beats 3-4 nights per week.

i've known many to do it, certainly makes you work on your priorities
_________________________
Providing alternative truths since the invention of time

Return to Top
#1965784 - 09/30/14 07:17 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Pale Rider Offline
10K Club
Pale Rider
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 34,318
under the Lone Star
Yes, sounds crazy.

I went full time, of course it was a time quite different from today's graduate level programs. I am not certain the banking experience, if it is primarily compliance related, will be much benefit...just my opinion.
_________________________
Societies that do not find work in and of itself "pleasing to God and requisite to Man," tend to be highly corrupt.


Return to Top
#1965822 - 09/30/14 08:16 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Bankbb1, PITA Offline
Junior Member
Bankbb1, PITA
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 38
The Sovereign State Of Oklahom...
It is a matter of benefit for effort. What will you recieve from doing it and how important is it to you?
Will it make you more marketable? Will it improve your posotion within your organization? Or is it just important to to you personally?
BTW, the last question is the most imprtant one. smile
_________________________
Run like the wind, but never forget gravity. wink

Return to Top
#1965835 - 09/30/14 08:31 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
jaenelle Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 50
Kansas
If it was only for me personally, I would get a master's in something I actually like and enjoy -- history, literature, geography.

The economics direction was based on encouragement from colleagues/superiors I respect who told me they felt I might be a good candidate and that it would probably make me more marketable when I look for another job in the fairly near future.

It would probably have no impact on my current job -- nothing else I've done to advance myself (gotten a bachelor's degree, gotten certified in compliance) has resulted in any significant salary increase. But I don't plan to stay here more than a couple more years, if that, so I'm not sure that matters.
_________________________
-- Kati (President)

Return to Top
#1965837 - 09/30/14 08:35 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
HappyGilmore Offline
10K Club
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,608
Pulling people out of the ditc...
what you should be doing is expressing to the superiors why it is important in your current role and what it will allow you to bring to your next promotion at the bank...and why the bank should invest in you by paying your way...
_________________________
Providing alternative truths since the invention of time

Return to Top
#1965858 - 09/30/14 09:17 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Wolfy Offline
Member
Wolfy
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 58
Mid West
Other than having a cool piece of paper granted to you from people with cool pieces of paper. I would take a close look at why you would spend so much of your own time and money to please others. As you noted if it was for you personally you would study other things. At my age I realize I only have the one life so I need to plan one what I do with the limited time that leaves me.
_________________________
No matter where you go, there you are.

Return to Top
#1967089 - 10/06/14 01:02 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Aggs Offline
Diamond Poster
Aggs
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,331
Hoosier Country
I did my master's pretty much right after getting my B.A. Yes, I was working full time. It consisted of going to class Monday and sometimes Thursday nights from 6 to 10pm. I thought it was manageable but it was before I had kids. smile

Getting my master's was important to me personally. It wasn't necessarily needed for my field of work, but I can say now that it has opened up numerous opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise received. It gave me just enough extra credibility (whether it was warranted or not) to get me a shot at some opportunities. Most compliance officers that I know don't have a master's, so it gave me that tiny bit of edge when applying. I also did mine as a M.S. in Organizational Leadership and Administration instead of a cookie-cutter MBA. That has led to interesting discussions about it during interviews. smile

It never hurts - I highly recommend it. You can never regret getting an education IMO.
_________________________
CRCM + CAMS = certified compliance nerd

Opinions expressed in these threads are my own and not my employer's.

Return to Top
#1967096 - 10/06/14 01:22 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
RR Becca Offline
Power Poster
RR Becca
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,245
out of the frying pan...
If you are doing this for career advancement, don't forget to look at your market area and see if it really would give you an advantage. Smaller markets seem to care less about education than experience, though if there is much competition for the positions you are seeking it may give you an edge.
Last edited by RR Becca; 10/06/14 01:23 PM. Reason: afterthought
_________________________
You call it ADD. I call it multi-tasking.

Return to Top
#1967125 - 10/06/14 02:56 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
jaenelle Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 50
Kansas
Thanks for your opinions and advice, everyone.

I investigated the Economics MA and decided that it was definitely too many prerequisite classes I hadn't taken to be manageable/affordable. I'd have to spend at least two semesters just preparing to apply for the program!

I also contacted the head of the department that's my first choice -- Geography. He said he'd be happy to visit with me about it, and it sounds like I at least mostly meet the requirements for that program.

I'm not at all sure we can afford for me to go back to school, and that's my major concern at this point.
_________________________
-- Kati (President)

Return to Top
#1967127 - 10/06/14 03:00 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
edAudit Offline
Power Poster
edAudit
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 4,783
You are here
Have you considered some of the Online courses and seeing if they are transferable to a reputable MBA program?
_________________________
Opinions can be considered as coming from anywhere but my employer.

CAMS


Return to Top
#1967128 - 10/06/14 03:04 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Hobbes Offline
100 Club
Hobbes
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 126
On a sled
I got my Master's while working full time. I was a part-time student, it ended up taking me about 5 years to finish. I only took one class a week in the evening. I was married with one kid and had one more the summer before I graduated. I still managed to do Cub Scouts with my son and coach his Rec soccer team. But that last semester was pretty rough with the newborn, a promotion, and school all happening at once.

But I spent a lot of lunches and evenings doing homework or papers. Plus, my school was an hour away from home, so that one night a week I never saw my family, they were all in bed by the time I got home.

I don't know if it was worth it. I find for my career (auditing), the certifications seem to have more credibility than the MBA. But when I started the program, I hadn't started in audit yet. I don't think it hurts having it, and I was fortunate that the bank I worked at paid for the program.

Plus, now that my younger sister and brother both have theirs, my Dad is pretty proud to say his kids went 3 for 3 in getting Masters.
_________________________
There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.

Return to Top
#1967131 - 10/06/14 03:22 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Bullseye Offline
Platinum Poster
Bullseye
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 968
My husband was able to complete his masters while working full time and having three young children at home. His work "highly" encouraged him to get it and paid for a good chunk of it. He did his online through the university he got his BA through. He worked on it most nights from 8 p.m. to midnight. I still don't know how he was able to get it all done, but we managed somehow.

Return to Top
#1967160 - 10/06/14 04:32 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
Mocha's Mom Offline
Platinum Poster
Mocha's Mom
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 633
Western MA
Hi, Jaenelle. I spent 15 years working full time and pursuing my education. I started by obtaining six banking diplomas, my second Associates degree, my Bachelor's and then my MBA. It was a long hard road but I did it mostly for myself. It is difficult to balance family, kid's sports and activities (I was even Cub Master for my boys' Pack) but I also considered it a challenge which kept me going. So it can be done. smile

Return to Top
#1967429 - 10/07/14 01:26 PM Re: Anyone Get A Master's Degree While Still Working? jaenelle
NotPerfect Offline
Platinum Poster
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 682
Midwest
I am 3 weeks away from my MBA with an emphasis in project management through UoPx. It's been very challenging to take classes on top of working full time and having two kids. I got significant tuition reimbursement through work and since my husband was also doing the program, it seemed to have made sense at the time. It has been very time-consuming and I'm hoping it'll be worth it in the end.

Return to Top