Continuing Education – Should You Go Into Debt for Career Sake in 2011?

Continuing Education – Should You Go Into Debt for Career Sake in 2011?

There are many reasons to continue your educational studies, to go back to school, or to sign up for night school. Many ongoing education classes are required for people who have licenses, as the regulations mandate that you must stay up on all the new information. Many people go to ongoing education because they believe in a lifetime of learning.

Still others continue their education because they realize it will help them advance their career. Many employers only advance people to higher levels of the organization if they have degrees in certain topics or subjects. And then there is a new issue right now, one that is very important and that is what if you might get laid off in the future?

What if you can’t find another job in your industry, then you’d have to go back to school and learn another trade, and therefore maybe you should be going to night school right now in case you get laid off in the future so you will have an additional degree to either move sideways to a different division in your company, or find a new job right away. That makes sense right?

Sure it does, but it also costs money, and last time I checked the tuition rates have continued to rise far outpacing inflation. Therefore, one has to ask if they should go into debt to continue their education. Recently, there was a personal financial guru who said that you should never incur student loans in excess of your first five-years out of school. Now then if we consider that rule of thumb, then anyone going to ongoing education has to look at the costs, and the benefits.

If they are trying to move up in their company, or have a chance to move sideways in case their job is eliminated, then they have to decide if they wish to spend the money now or take the risk that they will be laid-off. If the economy returns, and they have this additional degree they need to be reasonably sure that this will help them advance to the next level of their company and to a higher pay scale.

Needless to say, it makes sense to do some strategic thinking, and pencil out the exact cost of such ongoing education. That is before you take on more debt for the sake of advancing your career in 2011. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.