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Cost benefit analysis of degree

I am a telecommunication engineer and I am planning to leave my current position to go to another city and pursue a MS in IT in an university. I have a lot of doubts about how good is this idea these days. Could you give me some advice about that?
You don't indicate if you will be working or not as you pursue your degree. I think the economy is a little too shaky right now to recommend that you leave the work force entirely, and turn off the income tap to go back to school. OTOH, it usually takes about two years to finish a Master's these days, and by then the economic picture could be completely different.

In these kinds of situations, I recommend you do a cost benefit analysis.

  1. Figure out how much it will cost you to get the degree
  2. Figure out how much income you will lose while in school
  3. Add those two numbers together
  4. Guesstimate how much you will be able to earn once you get the degree, and calculate the difference between your current annual salary and your new annual salary.
  5. Take that difference and divide it into the sum resulting in line 3. That tells you how many years it will take you to earn back the expense and lost income.

If you like (or can live with) that number, go to school. If not, rethink your plans. You may want to pursue a degree part-time while staying employed full-time, or consider other options.

Hope this helps! Good luck, whatever you decide.

This was last published in August 2002

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