Since I returned to school to earn my doctoral several years ago, I'm occasionally sought out for advice on this topic. Here are some questions I've put together to help people determine if returning to school is right for them.
* Be very, very clear about your purpose in getting the degree. What do you want to learn? What are your objectives (e.g., increased earning potential, having a degree)? Are these objectives realistic?
* What's the subject you want to study in support of the aforementioned objectives?
* What options exist to study this subject? (i.e., degree programs, certifications, workshops). Which is best suited for a) your interests; b) your preferred learning style; c) your schedule; d) your budget?
* Once you identified specific program options, reach out to alumni to gain their perspectives. Is the particular program helping them to achieve their objectives? Anyone in your circumstances (or similar circumstances) who has found a good match in a particular program?