The simple answer is no, you can never have too much education. Every person should strive to be a lifelong learner, even if that learning is not occurring in a classroom. Education is absolutely a catalyst for solving major world problems, and I am a strong proponent of advancing as far as possible within your field of study. However, at some point in time, advancing too far might actually not be worth the cost you have to incur to do so.
To make a decision about how far you want to advance in your field, you first have to assess your field. If your goal is to become a college professor in business administration, then you will need to obtain a least a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) to teach adjunct, and a Ph.D. in a business field to teach at the full-time faculty level. Doing so is obviously going to cost more money than just getting a bachelor’s or associate degree, but you would not be able to teach without the advanced degrees. If you are a technical person and want to become an auto mechanic, you may only need to get a certificate or an associate degree to accomplish your goals.
The best way to determine how far you want to grow in your field is to do a cost-benefit analysis. If a high paying job in your field requires a master’s degree, it would probably be a good idea to incur the cost to get your education so that you can reap the benefits of a secure job. On the other hand, if you are struggling to find a job you enjoy, going back to school to get a master’s may not necessarily be the best decision at that time. Incurring more costs when you are already in a less than ideal financial situation probably is not the best idea.
It is up to each individual student to determine if the cost of advanced degrees justifies the potential benefits those degrees can bring. It is important to remember that each individual student’s situation is different. One student may aspire for a Ph.D. while another may only need a certificate to reach their goals in life.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS