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A: Despite good experience from 16 years in the workforce, a promising career still eludes me. I’ve contemplated furthering my education, but I fear taking out loans without knowing if this is a necessary step toward a great career. Where do I start?
–S. Risher, Houston
Q: Education-be it courses to brush up on your skills, or a certificate or degree to bolster your marketability and earning power-is critical to professional success (see “The Way to Work,” August 2000). That said, you don’t want to shell out big bucks for a degree that won’t help you advance in the industry or field you’ve chosen.
You are right to think through your decision to go back to school, especially since it doesn’t seem like you have a clear professional direction. The first step after determining that you are dissatisfied with your career status is to make up your mind about what you want to do next. Do research at Websites such as www.wetfeet.com and www.learnatest.com to explore a myriad of professional options. Once you identify the possibilities that are right for you, you’ll be able to draw up a plan to reach your professional goals.