Massive job losses have many workers wondering if another stint in college might be the way to go.

Massive job losses have many workers wondering if another stint in college might be the way to go.

In many cases, a graduate degree can spring you up the corporate ladder or help you land a better job. On the other hand, getting a master's is expensive, time-consuming and difficult.

"When I talk with students, I'll ask them to think about how education will make their life different than it is now," said Dr. Richard Ashbrook, dean of The College at Capital University. "Graduate study can't be the objective in itself. It's less about the degree and more about how you will serve others and further your education."

Before heading back to school, you need to decide whether obtaining a degree will likely boost your career enough to sacrifice substantial time and money.

Here are some other things to consider:

1. When can you go?

Nights. Many local schools offer classes after 5 p.m. Part-timers generally are in session two or three nights a week.

Weekends. Many part-time tracks include condensed courses - longer, less frequent versions often held on Saturdays and Sundays.

Random times. Distance and online degree programs accommodate many busy professionals. The courses have regular deadlines, but they're the most flexible option.

2. How will you pay?

Employer. Many companies offer total or partial tuition reimbursement for employees working toward a part-time degree. It helps if it's directly related to your current job.

Yourself. Students who opt to fund themselves often stretch out their programs, meaning lower payments over a longer period.

Loans. To get need-based government aid, students need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Private student aid is also available to graduate students.

3. Do you have to take a test?

Humanities students will often need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Potential MBA candidates must take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Future lawyers must score well on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

To get into medical school, you'll need to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).