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It is that time of year when everyone determines if they are setting a New Year’s resolution or not and what their resolutions will be. While many focus on weight loss, exercise and eating healthy, there are those that consider furthering their education for a variety of reasons. Some individuals avoid setting New Year’s resolutions, which is what I have gone to for several years, but there are those that do make and stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

There are many reasons as to why some individuals continuing their education to the doctoral level, one of those reasons might be a necessity for their career. For example if an individual works in higher education, then a doctorate will increase marketability since many colleges look for the doctorate degree prior to hiring the individual versus those with a master’s degree. So this is a consideration for some. Then there are those individuals that just want to achieve a doctorate degree for personal reasons or a personal achievement. Then there are those who the doctorate degree gives them added credibility, like for many independent consultants. So there are many reasons to consider your doctorate degree, what are your thoughts?

There are many that debate the value of a doctorate degree in terms of will their income see an increase to make the long journey worth it. Personally, I find this debate interesting because many times the value of a degree is not monetary. For example, my mom did not understand my desire for obtaining graduate degrees, but she received her answers when my higher education allowed me to teach online giving me the ability to care for her at home versus her going to a nursing home. So there are times when there is no dollar amount that can be placed on obtaining a degree at the graduate level.

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So have you been considering a doctorate degree and not sure what the value is to you? My response is the value will be determined by you? As I wrote in a previous blog, the value depends upon your long term goals and why you want to obtain your doctorate degree. Would you like to obtain it for personal achievement or career advancement or to add monies to your overall income, these are things that only you can decide because it is your future.

As we prepare to enter a New Year, 2016, I would encourage you to think about those goals and determine the value of a doctorate degree. Do you want a doctorate degree, but are putting it off until you have the monies or until you reach a certain age or until life is easier or until another achievement has been completed? If you have completed your master’s degree and you want to go for your doctorate degree, then why not make your New Year’s resolution to get started on your doctorate degree?

One time, I was asked by a co-worker about going college to further their education. My advice then is still the today, if it is a goal or a dream of yours to achieve then now is time to get started. One can talk or dream about furthering one’s education, but take action, do not let fear, the unknown or life get in the way of achieving your life goal because life will always be there. As a person that had to take a long break in the middle of working on my doctorate degree, I understand life very well. Today, as I write this blog I am back on track to begin my dissertation in 2016 and that is my New Year’s resolution to make great progress on my dissertation by the end of 2016.

So my encouragement for you is if you want to obtain your doctorate degree, then begin the New Year of 2016 with research on the degree and school of choice along with getting started. Life is a journey and will always be there, but an education is knowledge which is never wasted.

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