An anonymous reader writes "I've been working as a helpdesk monkey for over a year in a small-medium sized law firm of around 200 users and I don't know if my patience and sanity can last much longer. I'd like to remain in IT, but in less of a front-line role where I can actually get some work done without being interrupted every five minutes by a jamming printer or frozen instance of Outlook. There isn't really any room for progression at my current employer, and with the weak job market it seems I can only move sideways into another support role. I've been considering a full-time Masters degree in a specialized Computer Science area such as databases or Web development, but I don't know if the financial cost and the loss of a year's income and experience can justify it. Do any Slashdotters who have made it beyond the helpdesk have any knowledge or wisdom to impart? Is formal education a good avenue, or would I better off moving back home, getting a mindless but low-stress job, and teaching myself technologies in my free time?"