I have been working in medical research for a university for almost ten years. A couple years ago, the department has gone through a lot of changes both with leadership and funding sources. Because of those changes, the kind of work I am doing now is completely different than what I was hired to do which was writing software for research projects. Essentially I am doing data entry which I am overqualified to do with my two engineering degrees. Since my career seemed to have completely stalled I finally decided to go back to school and pursue my doctorate part time while I continue to work.
So here is my question: What negative career risks, if any, am I taking by staying in my current job while I go to school? While I don't think I will be doing data entry much longer I cannot see many opportunities in career development (engineering, management, etc.) other than what I would do in school. Should this concern me or is this not an issue at all? Obviously if I cannot complete that degree this situation become more concerning.
Leaving my job is a possibility but I will get some tuition assistance since my graduate program is at the same university so staying will essentially equate to a raise. Plus the salary and benefits are very competitive for my educational and professional background so finding an equally paying job in town my be very difficult.