23. Going back to school may not be such a good move

A slow economy and labor market can lead many workers to consider going back to school. In fact, schools geared toward working professionals generally report higher enrollments during recessionary periods. But it might not be the right choice for everyone. Before taking the leap back into academia, take some time to ask questions and do some research. For starters, consider whether additional schooling or another degree will advance your career. Career experts and recruiters say an advanced degree doesn't always mean you'll get a higher salary or a better job. Researching your industry and salary level will help you determine whether that is the case. Also consider whether student loans will play a factor. A potential salary bump might not offset loan repayments. Check out www.cbsalary.com and www.careervoyages.gov for some general ideas on how education could affect your earnings. Talk to people about their career paths, identifying professionals who have, for instance, earned an MBA and those who did not. If you're considering going back to school because you want to switch careers, speak to people working in the field you're interested in. You want to find a program that's the right fit for you. -- Hanah Cho
Baltimore Sun photo by John Makely
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