I’ve spent some time over the last few months considering whether or not I want to go back to school. Actually, I KNOW that I want to go back to school at some point to earn a Doctorate, but that’s not what I’m referring to here.
What I’ve been mentally debating is whether or not I want to go finish up a Certificate Program that I (sort of) began a few years ago. Here’s the story as briefly as I can tell it…
Right after I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I enrolled at the same college for a Masters Degree. I enrolled in three classes and was so turned off by the remedial way that some of the professors in the program treated their students that I withdrew from two classes and only finished one of them (with an A, thank you very much). After that decision, I started going to Rutgers and eventually enrolled in – and completed – their masters program in public policy.
Then I was hired at my job and I began to look into Doctoral programs as well as certificate programs. Lo and behold, the program that I was previously enrolled in where I only finished one class had a certificate available for being a Public Relations Specialist. At the same time, my company was looking to have me and some of my coworkers get trained on some other aspects of our business. Since the local college (where I was enrolled and only finished one class) was offering a fundraising course, I took the course and completed it. Well, as a part of my research prior to taking the course, it turns out that both the course I had previously completed and the fundraising course were two of the four courses needed for this certificate. But it gets better…
I researched when the other two courses were offered and they are being offered this fall and next spring. And since I’m teaching at the local college this fall and next spring, I can take these courses for no charge. In essence, I can received this certificate in public relations free of charge.
Anyway, to sum this story up, now I’m in the process of filling out the application and gathering all of the required information to enter this program and complete the certificate requirements. I’m not entirely sure how (or if) this will help me in my current occupation, but you never know. The one thing that I learned from going to college and graduate school is that the benefit of graduating is not the knowledge (though that’s nice), the benefit is access and networking. Perhaps while I’m enrolled in these two courses I’ll make a connection that could lead me to a job with higher compensation. I love my current job, but given the amount of work that I perform, they certainly aren’t paying me what I’m worth.
Who knows what will happen? All I know is that since I loved going to school, I’ll probably enjoy my time in this program.