Here's my situation. I'm a career changer. When my kids were little I went back to school to get elementary ed certified. It took 2 years of night school and student teaching. Then I found out just how many jobs there were in elementary. I ended up going alt. route in SPED - getting a job and going back again at night. That took another 1 1/2 years. All this and my district (as the others around here would) puts me in the first column of the salary guide - BA only. Even though I have many, many credits past getting my BA, they don't count them because they were all towards my certifications. It's eating me up that if I had my Master's right now, I would be earning thousands more to do the same job. I would not be starting from scratch to get my Master's. The alt route program that I did earned me more than 1/2 the credits towards it. If I went back to that program, I would only need 5 more classes (15 more credits) and I'd earn my Master's. But...that means going back to school a 3rd time, once again while working full time. I imagine it would take me at least another school year plus a summer. I don't know if that's really fair to my kids. But then again, is it fair to them that mommy could be earning a lot more towards their college fund and she's just not doing it? Then there's the other issue. If I earn my Master's, I will be making more money but does making more money make me more vulernable if there are cuts? I've been cut twice before from districts so maybe I have a little PTSD, but the last thing I want is a target on my head. Yes, I could wait until I have tenure but that's another 3 years. I'm 42 years old and if I'm going to go back to school, I want it done now or never. What do you think?