Post # 1
I’m new to the college section lol.
I just graduated with my BA in Anthropology in August 2013.
My SO and I are planning a big move in the next 6 months (give or take). I have always planned to get my masters degree but I have a few issues:
1) I’m the first EVER in my family to go to a state university, first to graduate/attain my degree by far for that matter
2) I guess I’ve been waiting for the area that we are moving to in order to take the next step.
My SO tells me that I will need to start studying for the GRE and working on letters of rec (he’s finishing his PhD, so he knows the process)…But we tried to talk about it tonight and I found it a tad intimidating (I honestly felt STUPID for a few moments!!).
Anyone else in my shoes? Any advice on how to handle things? What to do next?
I’m desperate…any personal story/advice/how to please PLEASE advise! I want to get my masters in anthropology. PS I’m 30..so I do feel a bit behind the 8ball.
Post # 3
@veryberry13: No pointers, I just wanted to congratulate you on your accomplishments! 🙂
Post # 4
@veryberry13: I’m actually working on my BA in Anthro, but I’m good friends with one of my former instructors at a community college and she just received her PhD. She has always said the road wasn’t easy, but she’s so happy she went through it. (btw she’s in her 40s and is my inspiration and motivation, I’m only 24 and I thought going back to school was weird for me.) stay strong and know that its worth it! Grad school will be that special time when your still a student but it feels a little more special. Soak this time up!
Post # 5
Thanks so much for the positive feedback. I do feel alone and I appreciate the encouraging words
I’ve made an appointment with an advisor tomorrow so I can hopefully get some more direction or figure it out. I’m just worried, concerned I guess.
Post # 6
Do you know what you are going to do with your MA in anthropology? Are you planning on getting a PhD?
Honestly, I would recommend reading some books or talking to people to make sure it’s the right choice. I feel like a lot of people go to grad school because it feels safe and it’s what they know (school) and they don’t know what else to do. These are not reasons to go! Consider the impacts it will have on working (you miss out on years/experience) and relationships/time (having children can be difficult) versus the payout. There are a lot of PhDs and few positions. And if you get a position, you really don’t get to choose where you live.
I would start studying for the GRE and then apply. It’s a little hard to wait to move somewhere and then find a program. Many programs may not have anything to do with your specific interests and then you have to get in.
Whatever you do, do not go unless you are funded (tuition + stipend) or independently wealthy.
Post # 7
@veryberry13: I went back to school at 23 and it felt so weird I’m almost 25 now and it’s funny when I’m sitting next to a 19 year old but at the end of the day I’ll be happy when I get my degree! So I was excited to see you getting your degree at an age over 22! Lol
Post # 8
@kes18: +1 I had a BA i communication, political science, and anthropology. Graduated in 2004 and there were zero jobs other than sales-type stuff that I hated. It’s even worse now. I considered going back for a Masters, but thankfully realized the cold hard truth that it would have been just delaying the inevitable. There is almost no market for college grads with those types of degrees and a Masters degree would probably not be worth the investment… at least financially.
@veryberry13: Is there a specific job you are looking to do, or are you just studying what interests you? Pretend that you have finished your Masters and do a job search. Take into consideration the number of positions you find, and the fact that there may be 100s of qualified applicants. Consider what they pay and what graduate school will cost you. Is it worth it? I know it’s uninspiring to only think about the money, but there are oodles of college grads out there with advanced degrees who are either unemployed or working for peanuts. After I graduated with a BA in anthropology, I was addled with debt and had no job prospects. I ended up going back for a second bachelors in nursing and got my MSN last year. Not exactly following my dreams, but it pays the bills.
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
OP, this is REALLY good advice. Take it from these two bees who have done the academia route. Not sure what kes’ field is, but in mine (wildlife biology), there are few jobs and a LOT of people with advanced degrees. I am sure anthropology is the same, if not even worse. Not trying to discourage you, but at 30, you should make sure your plan has a viable career at the end of it…
Post # 10
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@veryberry13: You need a Master’s or better yet a Doctorate in Anthropology if you want to do anything with it. I had my undergrad degrees in Psychology and Anthropology but I bombed the math portion of the GRE so I ended up in law school after scoring really high on the LSAT. Go ahead and sign up for a GRE exam and start studying. The results are good for up to 5 years after the testing year and you will need a good GRE score to get into the better Anthropology programs.
As for school, do you know where you are planning on moving and what areas of Anthropology are taught at the schools where you are moving? I live in Orlando and UCF’s Anthropology Department specializes in Maya Studies but they also have a pretty deccent Physical Anthropology section. If you’re doing it for your own personal accomplishment, awesome. Otherwise, anthropology isn’t the best field to get into unless you are interested in doing field work and/or teaching.
Post # 11
I honestly do appreciate the advice, and this has given me a lot to think about. I’m not sure if this information about me helps, but I’ve worked at a Fortune 100 insurance company for the last 11 years. I’m a little older than the average college person and I don’t fee that I am delaying the inevitable because I’m already an established, fully vested employee.
A LOT of people in my company have advanced degrees, and I’m starting to feel like I might not be considered for leadership roles (management/director/VP), without an advanced degree as well. What I plan to study in Anthropology will tie together with my role in the company.
Howevery, you bees are correct and have really zero’d in on one of my biggest issues-I do want to get married, settle down, have children and I don’t want this to get in the way. I suppose I am struggling with this decision a bit, and when I last spoke to my advisor she tole me to take a few years off to see if I still think it’s worth it. Your advice has echoed this.
I’ve got a lot to think about!
Post # 12
@MrsRichard: I commend your decision to finish school! It is SOOO hard to go back, the college students keep getting younger (what is THAT about haha), so you feel older. Last time I went back…I was 27 UGH and I felt way behind the 8ball.
I didn’t have any friends when I walked and graduated.
But my family and friends were there, and I’m happy I continued, finished and walked.
I encourage you to do the same. Good Luck!
Post # 13
@veryberry13: Yes! They are getting younger and younger. A girl in class asked me something and when I answered I said something about “me and my husband” and her jaw dropped and she said ur married how old are you?! Haha sigh
Post # 14
@veryberry13: I say go for it now and don’t worry about your age or (possible) lack of a direct career path. Anthroplogy can apply to EVERYTHING so just because you may not end up as a professor teaching somewhere, doesn’t mean you won’t get tangible value from it. I also happen to think that education is not just about getting money. You should factor in other metrics like confidence, self worth, awareness, impact, etc.
I got my MA in Anth a few years ago and I would do it all over again if I could. I feel that taking a break can cause a loss of momentum and focus, something that Grad schools are really looking for in students they fund through GA positions or grants.
2 things to take away, EVERYONE in grad school feels inadequate (and they are lying if they say otherwise) and you shouldn’t have to pay for your tuition. Apply to as many schools as you need to in order to find a program that will fund you.
Post # 15
@veryberry13: I would recommend applying to schools where you are admitted into the PhD program and earn the MA on the way. I finished my MA in Sociology last December and althought I know each department and program does things differently, I found applying to a PhD program with an MA more difficult. Yes, the GRE is horrible, but it is important. I was accepted to the PhD program of my choice, but turned it down because my low GRE score made me miss out on funding.
Also, if you want to eventually get your PhD, make sure your SO is aware that moving might have to happen for that and then for a job.
Check out the schools in the area and see what options are there. Are there any professors you are interested in working with? Do your interests allign with the professors/department? If so, contact them about their research and your ideas.
Hang in there! Grad school has it’s own norms and expectations that you will learn during the journey. It’s a lot of work, but it will be fun!
Post # 16
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@veryberry13: That does change things… if you can keep your job (although it might be crazy busy to do both – not sure how that would work) or at least be guaranteed to come back to it, that’s a pretty good deal. I would definitely make sure either your job pays for it, or you have a funded position. Remember that if you’re funded, your advisor is going to want to PUBLISH – so even if this is a career-advancement move, you have to at least do some good research during the program.