Should you really get that Master’s degree? In this episode, I speak about the reasons people choose to leave their teaching job to go back to school, give you a simple cost/benefit analysis one can use to determine whether school makes sense, and what they could do besides returning to school!

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Show Notes

Reasons people choose to go back to school for their master’s degrees

  • Bored in current school job
  • Job is too stressful
  • Current position is the wrong fit
  • Required by state/district
  • Looking for a significant other
  • Satiate a need to feed one’s brain
  • Feed their ego
  • Delay reality

Cost/benefit analysis (ROI – Return on Investment)

  • Do you have a choral ed job now?
    • If so…
      • What’s your current salary?
      • What would be your new salary?
      • Can you get a sabbatical in your current position?
      • Would you get rehired by the same school/district?
      • What’s the cost to the program of you leaving and coming back?
    • If not..
      • Are you delaying reality?
        • Just out of undergrad
        • Haven’t been hired yet after applying/interviewing around
        • Haven’t applied to anything yet
      • Would you be a more attractive candidate after the degree?
        • Really? Why?
  • What is this going to cost?
    • Online ($30,000) – While you teach full-time
    • Private ($80,000+ without an assistantship)
    • State ($12,000-$20,000)
    • Fully-funded (Yale, UCLA, etc)
    • Summer (Westminster, Hartt, etc)
  • How long will it take to make up for the cost of the degree?
    • Let’s say you make $50,000/year now, and after your degree you’d make $55,000/year. After taxes the difference would be just under $4,000/year, remembering that tuition is paid AFTER tax.
      • If you go to a state school, it may take 2-4 years to break even.
      • If you go top private school that doesn’t offer scholarships and you take out loans, you’d be paying about $400-$600/month over 30 years to pay for school. That’s $4,800-$7,200 per year for 30 years; possibly over $200,000 for your premium private education!!!
      • If you do an online or summer program while you teach, you’ll break even in about 6-8 years.
      • Fully-funded programs still require you to pay living expenses, so you’d better get a job. *BEST OPTION*
      • And…If you’re currently unemployed and thinking about going into massive debt, you’re an idiot.

Alternatives to going back to school



Bored in current school job

Start a new initiative at school, build a part-time business after-school, start investing more in the kids and find out what they want, get to know the community (you may be surprised – it may be YOU)

Job is too stressful

Recognize/identify an unhealthy workplace

Current position is the wrong fit

Start applying to other schools. Keep an open mind geographically (take Albuquerque for example – lower pay, but lower living expenses)

Required by state

Choose the most responsible option for you from an ROI standpoint

Looking for a significant other

One word: Tinder. Start becoming a person of value. Start volunteering where your target spouse may be, sing in a local choir, go to church, start a blog/podcast, attend conferences (better yet- apply to speak at them),, join a kickball league, get fit, join a social club like

Feeding your ego

You’re in it for the wrong reason. What will KILL your ego is if you have MASSIVE DEBT and NO JOB!

Delaying reality

Again, you’ll be in more pain because your brain will punish you for being a little b*tch in the long run.  You can’t avoid pain, just delay it. You best dive in and start being a person of value.  

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