For those that went back to get a Masters

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 2
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee

You want to get a masters degree before going to PA school?  Where do you live, Bee?  If you’re in the states, I wouldn’t accumulate the additional debt of a masters degree if that wasn’t my end goal.  Save the money for PA school.  

Post # 3
Member
4509 posts
Honey bee

beegirl1989 :  My first degree was a Bachelor’s Degree. Then I worked. After a year of working, my employer offered a partial scholarship for anyone who wants to step up into a Master’s Degree. I took it because I could work full time and take one class at a time and not married with kids yet (most my coworkers were and cited this as the main reason they did not go back to school). For me, it was actually easier than the Bachelor’s academics because I was already working in the field. I understood what the theory was all about and I could apply what I was experiencing at work into the Master’s program.

If anything, the reading and assignments were just time consuming but well worth it at the end. Honestly, I think it was easier for me to get the position I have now because of the Master’s Degree. Many people in my field of work usually only have a Bachelor’s Degree especially the older/more veteran ones. I think my job is doable with a Bachelor’s as well. However, that Master’s Degree is kinda like an extra whip cream with a cherry on top on the resume. 

Post # 4
Member
1331 posts
Bumble bee

I went to college after high school and got my bachelor’s degree. I got a job relating to my field but not exactly. 5 years later I figured that I’ve been out of my field for too long to get a job relating to my first degree. I decided to go for a masters in a different field and more broad (business) to provide more opportunities. I’m working on my thesis now. I have to say that it has been worth it thus far. I got time off from job i didn’t like so that itself is great. We shall see once job application time arrives if ut literally pays off. But it has been great fir my mental heatlh, needed tje break from the office. Also have grown up a lot and gained new perspective.

Post # 5
Member
209 posts
Helper bee

I went back to school about a year after finishing my bachelor’s to get a master’s. I did it because I felt that it would improve my future career options, and I could do it in the evenings while working full time, and it was a state school so I could do it without taking out any loans. I would not have quit my job to go back to school because I was already working in the field I wanted, and the master’s wouldn’t have added enough value on its own to justify a year gap in my career progression and salary. I’m very happy with the decision now, although the stress of being a full-time student while working full-time did change my life for a few years. I’m also glad I did it while I was relatively young, before I had as many responsibilities.

My advice to you would be to talk to a lot of people in your field, people in jobs that you hope to be in one day, and ask them about their career paths. Ask them how much they value masters degrees when they are hiring, and which grad programs are well respected. I would only recommend doing it if multiple people in your field tell you that it will be valuable AND you can do it at minimal cost or while working. I would definitely not recommend going back to school if it’s primarily just a way to get you out of a job you don’t like right now.

Post # 7
Member
2513 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I went back about a year after graduating with my bachelors. I had my son the last semester of my undergrad and wanted to go back to get my masters while he was still little. My undergrad is in HR and my masters is in MS in HR. 

Post # 8
Member
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I got my master’s because my field (museums) is very difficult to find a job in. At this point, a master’s is basically essential. I went straight from undergrad to grad school. My master’s is in History, with a Museum Studies concentration so it encompasses a bit more than the niche museum field.

I’m happy with my master’s because I likely would not have gotten a job in this field. However, my student loan debt doubled. Without the master’s, I would be almost out of (undergrad) debt. That would make a huge difference. My advice is that unless an employer or scholarships pay for a master’s, don’t do it.

Post # 9
Member
1195 posts
Bumble bee

Only do it if it helps you with career progression? Definetly talk to people in your field, about it. I mean there’s always a case to be made for further study just because you’re interested in it, but you have to weigh up the time and cost associated with it. 

I did a research masters, but I had to for the specialty I wanted. Otherwise I wouldn’t have. 

xo

Post # 10
Member
704 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Not me, but my husband is currently in a masters program.

He had been out nearly 10 years. He has a bachelors in history which he obviously doesn’t use lol. At the time of his first job with the county you just needed a degree in anything the. He ended up switching jobs and moving up a lot and he’s pretty much capped out without promoting to a job that would require a masters and he’s only 32. We’re lucky enough that he makes good money and we’re paying in cash at the start of each class. 

For us it’s definitely worth it for him because he has 23 years till retirement. He’s happy just tired and grouchy. It’s an online program for two years and you pretty much get no time off.

Post # 11
Member
4719 posts
Honey bee

I am going back because I discovered a field I am passionate about and while I have had informal on-the-job training I want to formalize my education on the subject and shift into that field full-time.  Pay-wise I don’t think this will offer me a drastic increase though as I’ve worked up reasonably well in my current field.  In fact I may start out making less because of it.

Most people I’ve talked to regret their master’s degree, but they were people who went about it in a linear fashion from high school forward and much of it was just because they thought more was better and had lofty expectations that a master’s  will always get you the edge.  From my chats with them, my big takeaway is don’t expect a master’s to make you highly sought after or rich (it isn’t a golden ticket) and don’t do it unless it is a field that requires it for most decent jobs (like social work) or you are extremely passionate about the subject.

Post # 12
Member
594 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

I got my BS, then worked in a somewhat-related field that overlapped with my current career for 5 years. I realized I’d be happier in my current career, and did a Masters in that to cement the changeover. I could have just gone for a certificate but the Masters definitely helped when I went job-hunting. My program was pretty excruciating though. It involved a full-time placement in addition to classes at night 3 nights a week for a year + plus another year of a full-time course load. It was an amazing school and I learned SO much but I did not realize how full-on it would be when I signed up. Looking back though (it’s been 2 years since I completed it), I am happy and it was worth it. But it would have been impossible to do if I wasn’t single with no responsibilites.

Post # 13
Member
1504 posts
Bumble bee

I got my BSc in 2012, worked in the NHS as a medical scientist for 5 years and reached a level where I either paid for my own masters to progress further (senior positions require a masters) or I switched careers. I was considering becoming a PA, however, the cost of the course was 18k and the only loans available give you 10k max, so there was no way I could afford the course, especially as it is that intense you can’t really work part time whilst doing it.

I wasn’t fully happy with my career as a medical scientist for various reasons, and I really wanted to become more clinical, so I applied for a 3 year NHS grad scheme to become a clinical scientist which is pretty much 100% patient facing. Luckily, I got accepted and am paid the same salary as when I was a medical scientist, get a fully funded masters degree in clinical science, plus 2k per year of expenses. I have just finished my first year and I’m so happy with decision, I have the best of both worlds in that I’m still a scientist, but I am also clinical. 

 

Post # 14
Member
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

beegirl1989 :  I typed up a huge response a few days ago and lost it so here we go again.

 

I’m going into my second year in a master’s program. My master’s will be in social work. Where I live there are not a ton of opportunties for growth. Alot of postions that are advertised are either extremely lowing paying like wanting a bachelor’s for around min wage or wanting a master’s with 3 years of experience. I chose to pursue my master’s because bachelor level work isn’t my passion. I would like to become a therapist. I waited for some time to start my master’s because I was worreid about adding to my debt and stress level. I love school so much and it’s been a positive experience.

Post # 15
Member
21 posts
Newbee

beegirl1989 :  I’m a speech-language pathologist so a masters degree was required to enter into my field. if I wouldn’t have already sold my soul to the profession by doing my undergrad training it, I wouldn’t have gone to grad school at all, I probably would have gone into real estate or something of that nature that requires a lot less debt. However, I’m happy to say I like being a SLP. The field is very good and I don’t have to work hard at all to get a job, which is what I wanted in a profession.

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