Is this a bad deal?

Long story short, I worked in nonprofits for about 3 years, first through direct service in AmeriCorps then a grant writing position, where I made about $50k.

After almost two years, that job felt like a dead end, so I went to grad school for environmental management. Stupidly, I had to take out loans.

My professor pressured me into applying for a specialized job at an environmental job described as the work of “4 people.” The state the nonprofit is located in has a low cost of living, but the real estate market is heavily inflated right now, so I would essentially be paying more for housing than where I was at with the grant writing gig. but with was max pay was 50k.

The actual offer was $43k, then $45k upon completion of my degree. $45K is only slightly more than I was making before grad school. Because of my thesis professor’s schedule, I can’t defend until November at the earliest. The $2K raise doesn’t fully cover the cost of tuition to defend.

I was promised flexibility, but they’re expecting me to be the only paid employee in July, so I need to move in June at least, but I have commitments to travel for my thesis.

My career goals are to work in state or local government.

My professors seem to think this is a great opportunity, but from my point of view it’s a bad deal. People in my program with no work history are getting better offers. I’ve been told it’s because I switched fields, but the job involved grants and some community meetings.

Should I chalk this up to being an idiot for getting a grad degree or should I keep looking for a better position?

submitted by /u/shaky-as-she-goes
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