|help me rank my internship choices
||[Jan. 21st, 2013|12:45 pm]
The Question Club
I'm going into a profession that requires a one-two year internship to become registered. I have three possible internships I'm applying to. I know which is my first choice, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to rank the other two. They're both good programs, will leave me equally qualified, and I'm guessing I have about equal chances of being chosen for them.
Choice 1: One year partial graduate program - I'll have a certificate, but not a master's, when I finish. It's not full-time (only 13 hours in two semesters), so I'll have to take more than a year's worth of classes to finish my master's, if I do. The big pro is that this is located in my hometown, so the commute will be minimal. Plus, since it's only one year, I'll be able to start working sooner. The big negative is that this is a program at a private university, and the tuition cost is $15000, plus books and a few incidentals. The only type of aid available is loans - no assistantships or grants. I can afford this, but it'll be tight. Because of the short commute and lighter class load, I may have enough free time to get a part-time job to offset costs.
Choice 2: Full master's program, lasting two years. Graduate Assistant positions are standard for the first 3 of 5 semesters, so the overall tuition cost runs $4-5000 (again, plus books, etc.). If I choose not to do a master's thesis, I'll have to take additional coursework, which will increase the cost by a few thousand (I'm still not sure whether I'd do a thesis). It will delay my employment by a year, and I'm not sure there's a big entry level pay bump for having an MS. The big negative is that this school is located 45 miles away - my husband and I own a home where we are now, so I'm not relocating. Some sites for the internship are actually in my hometown, so that's cool, but some are an hour away in the other direction from the school, which means some weeks I'll be commuting 180 miles a day. I've already been commuting to this school for two years, and I hate it. The commute adds about $700-1000/semester in gas costs. It's also worth noting that my car will be 16 years old and have about 185k miles when I start the program - buying a new one is really not on my to-do list yet.
Which would you pick? Any insights I seem to be missing? When I write it out like this, choice 2 seems like the obvious choice, but I can't get over how much I hate all the driving.