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Masters - is there any point?

  • 06-02-2021 11:34pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭ twomagpies


    Hi all,

    Finished undergrad in 2018, just completed a post grad diploma, now have opportunity to do a top up course to get masters.

    I am permanent in my low paying job but it is not the job I want forever.

    Do you think it is necessary to do a masters? I would love to accomplish this, but unsure if I really want it or if I should just push through and get the qualification.

    I just don't know if there is any point - feeling a bit drained as just finished previous course last month. I know I am the only one that can really decide but any advice appreciated.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,263 ✭✭✭✭ Tom Dunne


    twomagpies wrote: »
    I am permanent in my low paying job but it is not the job I want forever.

    I think this is the core of the matter - do you want to continue in a low paying job? While a masters is no guarantee of success, it will increase your chances of advancing into better paid jobs.
    twomagpies wrote: »
    Do you think it is necessary to do a masters?

    No, absolutely not. However, in my opinion, it would be viewed in a higher regard than a post-graduate diploma, which in turn would open more doors for you. See my point above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭ Squeeonline


    Experience matters more than degrees and I'm saying this as someone with a PhD. Degrees are a useful place to get a certain type of experience.

    During all my job interviews, what was important was the stories I was able to tell about times I had worked in a team, times I took leadership, times I organised things to a deadline, took responsibility, experienced failure.... Only some of those came from the degree, most came from clubs/societies I was involved with during the degrees, but those exist outside of college too.

    If I were in your position, I certainly wouldn't take on debt to get another degree or risk burn-out. Look at the job descriptions you want, write down the skills they are looking for (reading between the lines, and researching the company), and see how existing experiences you have would make you suitable for that role.

    Sprinkle a couple of those into application letters and your CVs, (tailored for each position) and fingers crossed!


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,798 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    OP, whats the subject matter of your qualifications and where did you get them?
    My concern is that there is a lot of non rigorous stuff being offered to keep up staffing levels in colleges and keep folk off the dole?
    A lot of free stuff on sites like edx.org and the open university, if you don't need the paperwork.
    Does the masters involve research and writing up a thesis..Are you cut out for that and the nuances of Harvard A vs Harvard B?
    In many cases they are outdated before they are finished because of the lag in getting suitable peer reviewed literture on line for you to use.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,263 ✭✭✭✭ Tom Dunne


    twomagpies wrote: »
    Finished undergrad in 2018, just completed a post grad diploma, now have opportunity to do a top up course to get masters
    Experience matters more than degrees

    But if the OP graduated from an undergrad degree in 2018, and presumably took one year to do the PGdip, that's not an awful lot of experience. The additional qualifications could make up for that lack of experience.

    In many cases they are outdated before they are finished because of the lag in getting suitable peer reviewed literture on line for you to use.

    That's not true for taught masters. It's usually a 6-9 month in duration and unless you are at the absolute cutting edge of research, this is unlikely for the vast majority of theses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭ Staplor


    I did a masters part time while working in a job I couldn't seem to get out of. The masters was related to where I wanted to move to. The masters gave me confidence in applying for jobs, got a couple of sideways moves with my then employer building up experience, before landing a job I really wanted.

    The masters isn't necessary, but for me it proved that I was able to focus on one particular area and become really proficient in it, employers will see that too.

    I did some study at work, my masters was distance learning, part time at night, not easy, but certainly achievable.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,486 ✭✭✭ Squeeonline


    Staplor wrote: »
    I did a masters part time while working in a job I couldn't seem to get out of. The masters was related to where I wanted to move to. The masters gave me confidence in applying for jobs, got a couple of sideways moves with my then employer building up experience, before landing a job I really wanted.

    The masters isn't necessary, but for me it proved that I was able to focus on one particular area and become really proficient in it, employers will see that too.

    I did some study at work, my masters was distance learning, part time at night, not easy, but certainly achievable.

    I agree that having a degree in a different field to where you work is a good stepping stone to a new career. I think it's important to really figure out if you actually need one first for a new career.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 ✭✭✭ twomagpies


    Thanks all for replies

    To answer some of the questions:

    Undergrad was marketing
    Postgrad was advertising
    Masters would be commercial communications

    All work history has been customer service based in different industries - I didn't go straight to college from school

    Current job is customer service position, office based while also doing sales and marketing

    I will not be in debt because of this

    It will be a consultancy project as opposed to a thesis

    As mentioned, I did not go straight to college from school. I spent too long not making the correct choices for numerous reasons so I have only really got my head screwed on the last couple of years so I'm eager to figure it all out and make a career for myself

    I am just really concerned with wasting time and energy all for a qualification I may not even need but on the other hand I know it will be useful


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ DanielGuigui


    Great points of conversation that opened up in this thread. I similarly wondered if studying for another degree is worth my time and money (also looking at cost-benefits and opportunity costs for continue studying versus working).

    Brief info about my background:
    - I did work and travel programmes until I was 26
    - Studied a Bachelor of Business Administration (in the Netherlands)
    - Currently in an MSc programme in Sociology at TCD and UCD

    I took my time before and between choosing study programmes also looking at how many of my friends found their way into a job. While some entered the market with MScs, others did not study (but started to work earlier). In both cases, people seemed to arrive at a comfortable place in life (starting a family, having a house/apartment, etc.). However, what I saw is that there seems to be a difference in possibilities to advance your carrier depending on the type of qualifications (i.e., degrees) you hold.

    Further, I agree with the point you made OP, that degrees are not always needed, really depending on the line of work and future plans you have. However, I think studying provides more than just learning opportunities. Being in a programme with people who have similar interests also provides for a beautiful opportunity to network (in many business-related fields invaluable).

    Finally, having worked in marketing and recruitment for higher education institutions, I think it is important to point out that the number of individuals with higher degrees in the job market is only increasing over the past decade. Therefore, it seems at times difficult to compete on the job market (against locals and internationals) without the necessary degrees. However, I agree with what was mentioned by one of the participants in this thread before; in many cases (interviews, carrier trajectory, etc.), it comes down to how you present your own story. Whatever you chose, own it and make it a part of your narrative.


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