(Apologies to Bill Shakespeare for my paraphrasing.)
I've just completed an Executive Certificate in Marketing Management through work, which I really enjoyed (especially as work paid for it in both course costs and actually running the course on site during work hours – sweet!)
It’s got me thinking about continuing my studies. I had commenced an undergrad before this opportunity presented itself, but my course through work was at a post grad/MBA level and I did OK, well even.
I’d really like to go after a Masters in Marketing, as I think the next few steps of my career will require tertiary education as well as experience, so it’s now or never really.
I've got myself booked in to an information evening next month to find out more about it from lecturers and speak to current and recently graduated students about what the workload is like, as I’ll be working full time as well as studying.
The big question though is the cost. I’d be looking at approx $2,588 a subject, and I’d have to complete 11 subjects (as I've already completed one subject), so that’s $28,468 over the life of the Masters or $9,490 a year (assuming two subjects a semester and two semesters a year).
That’s $791 a month I’d need to find in my budget each month to pay for it upfront.
Alternatively, I can pay a 20% surcharge and have 8% of my salary deducted each month (the joy of HECS/Fee-HELP) until the total amount is paid off. 20% equates to $5,694 though, which is a lot of surcharge, so I’m leaning towards paying upfront.
The other two things with paying upfront are:
- I can ask work to contribute up to $3,000 per calendar year, which could reduce my outgoings by $9,000 over the life of the course, and would mean I’d only need to find $541 a month in the budget.
- The other is the course fees are tax deductible, which could also help pay for things as my annual taxable salary would be effectively reduced by $6,490 (after the $3,000 I’d get back from work) which would push me down a tax bracket.
I was in a meeting with our ad agency yesterday and they showed us reports that MBA applications have gone through the roof, which is an unforeseen side effect of the global financial crisis.
People are investing in themselves rather than the stock market it seems.