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Returning to College for a Higher Degree?

Moms Returning to College

We all know more education equals higher income and lower levels of unemployment. See: The Difference a Degree Makes in Unemployment Levels

Baby boomer will begin retiring over the next five years increasing job vacancies. This is just in time for moms entering a two-year graduate program now. In some fields, however, it may be best or even necessary to get a few years of job experience before applying for grad school.

Assuming positions are available, a master’s degree will lead to higher income. Just how much higher depends on the field. If you’re a mom considering grad school, it is essential to understand the expectations and use proven strategies to meet the demands of both school and family.

Moms Returning to College for Their Master’s Degree

Moms Returning to College OnlineAlthough Pell grants are still available for undergraduate expenses, graduate school is not covered. Adding up tuition, books, living expenses, and lost income will take the bill anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 for a two-year program. The good news is that the average grad student can expect this investment to pay for itself in between three and five years with pay increases ranging from 10-300 percent.

Here’s the income difference for a few careers.

  • Elementary teachers can expect an average boost of over $10,000 with a master’s degree.
  • Degrees in accounting gross an average $45,893 and jump to $50,468 with a master’s.
  • IT and computer-related fields are growing, and they can return a huge increase of over $20,000 with graduate degree.
  • With a master’s in the arts and humanities, you can expect an average $7,000 boost in income over your four-year degree income.
  • Getting through grad school with a family is not easy, and you’ll benefit by knowing the demands upfront.

 Moms Facing the Challenges of Returning to College

Many moms returning to college choose online programs or select a majority of online classes from traditional programs to save money and stay home. It’s a good strategy for both but requires dedication. Here are a few tips to make grad school success more likely.

  • Work up a time budget similar to your family’s financial budget. Grad students take fewer hours a semester, but they require a minimum of three hours outside class per credit hour.
  • Grad school papers and projects typically have a deadline, rubric, and not much else. Break these into smaller tasks, and set your own deadlines for each task.
  • Stay organized. This means a physical space with file folders and other tools as well as highly organized space on your computer.
  • Always keep two backup copies of all school-related computer files. Dedicate an email account for storing school files.
  • Communicate early and often with professors. They are usually willing to share resources and opportunities with friendly students. Their recommendations will also look good on your resume.

Making it through grad school is never easy, but the benefits are indisputable. The skills you learn will make you a more valuable employee and more competitive in the job market.

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About the Author: Candice Godfrey writes full-time for education blogs. To read more about criminal justice degrees online click here.