Samuel Digby is a police sergeant for the Dallas Police Department. Working from being a police officer to senior corporal/field training officer and supervising the Dallas 911 emergency call center to patrol bureau and sergeant, Digby has utilized his analytical skills in monitoring crime trends to ensure that the citizens of Dallas are safe. He earned a master’s in public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Mountain State University and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University. Today, he shares his educational experience.

(Photo Courtesy of Samuel Digby)

(Photo Courtesy of Samuel Digby)

Why did you pursue a master’s degree?

“I pursued my master’s degree for personal gratification. I am a first generation college graduate. My older sister, Dr. Joyce Digby-Nelson, was also a major influence on me furthering my education. This was a challenge I set for myself.”

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master’s degree?

“I would advise anyone who is pursuing an advanced degree to think about how they want to use that degree in the business world to be a job creator or entrepreneur instead of an employee. Too many people get advanced degrees expecting promotion in the workforce, only to be disappointed when someone else less qualified gets the position. Then you have those people who get advanced degrees thinking it may give them a leg up as they enter the workforce only to find out that they may still have to start out in an entry-level position. Oftentimes, these particular entry positions do not even require an advanced degree. There are also the employers who tell individuals with advanced degrees seeking their breakthrough into the workforce that they are over qualified.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your master’s degree?

“The biggest challenge in pursuing graduate studies initially was the time commitment necessary to do well in my program of study, due in part to me working a 40 plus hour a week career. One must be disciplined, dedicated and determined to succeed in a graduate program. You have to start with the end in mind and visualize yourself with that degree and all that comes with it.”

What was the biggest reward for earning the master’s degree?

“The biggest reward from earning my Master Degree is the respect I get from my community, family, friends and colleagues.  If earning a graduate degree were easy, then everyone would do it.  For those who are willing to put up with the rigors of graduate study, the reward and self-fulfillment is second to none.”

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com