Should I Go Back To School?

Group of young adultsIn a competitive job market, many job seekers find themselves returning to academia. For some, school is a safe space, where one can defer the unfriendly job market. For others, a degree may give job seekers a competitive edge once they re-enter that market. Others are simply taking time to decide what to do with their careers. Certain fields, like law or medicine, require advanced degrees, especially if you choose to specialize.

Practicing medicine requires at least ten years of tertiary education, including an undergraduate degree, a Medical Doctorate, residency and internships. Also, you will have to undergo further training if you want to specialize. If you wanted to work, for example, as a cosmetic dermatological surgeon in Northern VA, you would have to complete residencies in both cosmetic surgery and dermatology, as Dr. Steven Rotter in Northern VA did. If you wish to perform special, highly technical procedures such as Mohs surgery in Fairfax VA, you will have to undergo special training for that, as well and make a commitment to continuing education, as technology and ethical practices change with the time.

Again, law is another area that requires a second degree. However, even when a lawyer decides to specialize as say, a workers compensation lawyer in Palm Beach County FL, he or she need not go through additional schooling to pick a concentration. Most law students specialize in their second year simply by taking particular classes. Many, however, do not specialize at all, and all law students are required to take certain general classes that give them a basic working knowledge of the law across all areas. Even though an attorney need not go into specialized training, the attorney cannot simply practice in any location. The requirements for becoming a Palm Beach Gardens, FL workers compensation lawyer for example, differ from the requirements for becoming a workers compensation lawyer in Elizabeth NJ, and if you are a lawyer who decides to move and still practice, you will have to pass the bar exam in your new home state.

If you are not sure if you want to go back to school in a particular field, you may consider an internship, or shadowing a professional in the field you are considering. This can provide valuable insights and help you decide if you wish to pursue a particular career path. Whether you are considering medicine, law, or another area, ensure that you have the time and financial security to obtain another degree.