Many people are looking to the classroom as the best way to fight the recession and unemployment. Some younger people who are looking to graduate are opting to stay in school in order to wait out the bad economy. There’s hopeful news on the horizon as President Obama is urging Congress to pass his new Jobs Bill that’s designed to get the country back to work. Up till this point, America has dealt with an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent and there’s been very little progress forward. This is the main reason that so many people are going back to school, but getting your MBA online or in a traditional university isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. You should ask yourself a few questions before you make any decision:

Why Get an MBA?

Asking yourself why is always a good start before you take any action. Going back to school could be on your mind for many reasons but it’s a huge commitment in both time and money. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Some make the decision because they want to improve their ability to get a job. Others decide to do this because there simply aren’t the jobs out there for them and they need to make a career change. Don’t do it on a whim because you’ll spend years repaying or waste your time because the idea sounded better in your head than it was in reality.

What Are Your Goals

You always want to have a very clear goal in mind before you decide to go back to school. This is a common mistake among young people that enter college for the first time. They look at college as an experience and they end up wasting a lot of time. Don’t go back to school before you map out exactly what it is you’re wanting to accomplish with your degree. If you’re wanting to open your chances up for advancement, speak with school staff or an advisory and they can give you a good idea how to accomplish what you’re wanting to do.

Employee Tuition Reimbursement

If you’re one of those lucky people that were able to hold onto their job during the downturn, you might be able to get your company to pay for your MBA degree. Many companies offer programs that give their workers tuition reimbursement. This isn’t because they’re simply good-natured, it benefits them as well. They’ll usually strike an agreement with you that you’ll stay for a certain period and they’re getting skilled labor at the same time. It’s really a win-win situation

Can You Afford It

Most people don’t work for a company that is willing to pay for their education. If this is the case, you likely will have to borrow a substantial amount of money to do this. These loan programs are deferred until you graduate but debt is debt. If you’re already struggling to make mortgage payments and deal with the day-to-day finances, you might not be able to afford going back to school. With that said, there are government and non-profit programs that offer counseling and funding for older individuals looking to go back to school. You might not have to pay for it at all.

Be very honest with yourself and think about going back to school in detail. It’s a big commitment and very serious and you don’t want to walk into something like that lightly. Going back to school can be a shocking and overwhelming experience. It can seem like another world altogether. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t do it, just make sure you’re prepared and ready for it before you take the leap.