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Master's Degree?

752 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  G&B'sMama
When I got to work yesterday I found an email in my inbox telling me that my company has arranged a distance learning master's degree program with an engineering college in NJ. The company is going to cover most of the (substantial) cost, but I would have to pay about $2500 over two years out of my pocket.

When I read the proposal I was literally
at the prospect of being able to finally get my master's degree (I dropped out of grad school in 1999 after I got married). In addition, having a master's degree could pay off in a big way if I could get a higher level engineering position or management position because of it. If I became an engineer, the degree would pay for itself in about 3 months (it's that big of a raise!).

Part of me thinks I'm crazy for even considering it. I'm already burned out by working and taking care of DS during my off hours. DH is not available at all to help with DS due to his work schedule. My house is a mess, and the only reason dinner gets on the table is because I buy frozen meals and our nanny cooks them while I'm at work.

I'm afraid it would be impossible to study with DS around. My mother thinks he wouldn't be a problem as long as I managed my time well. He's getting older, and he is better able to entertain himself now. Also, I feel that I might be setting a good example for him - if he sees me studying he'll see that I put education high on my list of priorities.

I am torn over this whole thing. I really, really want to do it, but I'm afraid of screwing up. It's a long term commitment (Fall of 2006 to Spring of 2009, two semesters per year, two courses per semester) and I'm just on the fence about it right now.

Anyone done this kind of thing? Input would be appreciated.
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I would give it a try. Is there a penalty for not finishing? Is there a way you can do one class a semester at first-just to start slowly?
Sounds like a great deal! A masters with no student loans! Woo hoo!

There will probably never be a best time to do this from now on but the pay offs if you do get through will be great!

Originally Posted by thatsuzygirl
I would give it a try. Is there a penalty for not finishing? Is there a way you can do one class a semester at first-just to start slowly?

This is one of the things that could be problematic. The program is called a "lock-step" program and you absolutely have to do 2 classes per semester. I will actually probably have to do three classes from September-December this year because I'm pretty sure I'll have to take one prerequisite course. So once I'm in the program I pretty much have to complete it. I will have to get the specifics from the program director.
If you really, really want to do it -- then go for it! Yes, it will be hard work, but look at the return. And it sure sounds as if it is something you really want. I am not the most organized person by nature, but pursuing my degree (on through grad school) is very important to me -- as are my kids! And I'm single. And I homeschool. (And maybe I am slightly mad ...
). But truly, it is doable!
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I wrote my master's thesis when DD was a newborn. She was a good, predictable napper, thank goodness, but it was still challenging to meet deadlines sometimes. Still, I strongly believe it's doable. DH is currently finishing up his MBA/CMA, which he began just before DD was born. He's done two classes per semester for the past three years, in addition to a demanding full-time job, so it's been challenging all around. Still, I really feel that if you want to do something, you have to just DO it and make the time for it.

I really want to do my PhD, and I'm just debating how crazy that would be with two little ones. Really, if you feel passionately about something, it will work out!
I dropped out of school to get married when I was 19. I finally went back to university at the age of 30 and I was a divorced mom of one 5 yo at the time. I took classes one class a semester while working full-time for 12 years and finally completed my Bachelor's degree. Then I went on for a Master's degree, but I had remarried in the meantime and I was pregnant at the time I graduated with the Bachelor's. So I worked full-time and worked on my Master's degree all while having a newborn at home. I got pregnant again and did my thesis research while dealing with morning (all day) sickness.
: I credit my wonderful, supportive husband and grown daughter who both helped out a lot at home and thus enabled me to complete my degree. I was pregnant when I graduated with my Master's degree, and had a 17 yo and a 2 yo at home.

It can be done, but I think having a support network at home (whether spouse, partner, family members, grandparents, etc.) is essential to make it work.

Good luck!
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I think it is like most things. Decide that you want to do it and that everything will work out okay in the long run- and you will be able to do it. I would have a hard time turning down a virtually free degree!
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