Masters Degree, is it a Good Idea?
I know writing this will land me my share of enemies,,, but, it has been pretty stable for a while now and I need some… activity.
I have discussed this subject with a large amount of people, and regardless of my own opinion on the entire education system, what is sad is a lot of people are getting it for the wrong reasons.
Before we talk about the reasons, we need to talk about the types (source) :
- Subject Specific:
This is a master’s degree in a specific field (outside the business and management such as Education (MEd.), Social Work (MSW), Arts (MA)… etc.
- Research Master’s Degree:
As it names entails, this is specific for researchers.
- Executive Master’s Degree:
The admission requirements to such a degree are usually different from the regular master’s degrees.
- Integrated Master’s Degree:
This is an undergraduate degree combined with an extra master’s year. An intermediate bachelor’s degree is not awarded. Integrated master’s are most common in scientific disciplines.
- Business and Management Master’s Degree:
Although not always specified as Business or Management (such as Engineering (MEng.), Science (MSci.), Commerce (MComm.)) but the focus is usually on business and/or management.
Now, let us talk about some of the good reasons to get a Master’s Degree:
I know some people who are very smart and passionate when they were at school and after they went to university they fell in love with a subject and focused their undergraduate studies toward it. but when graduated they are absolutely uninterested, lost or lost the passion he had when it came to working. To them I say: Go for it and don’t stop there, get a PhD.
I believe it goes along with passion, but since it has its own type, it should be featured alone here.
- My Company is Sending Me:
Companies sometimes do that, and if you are getting an opportunity to study a master’s degree while still employed in the company, and you are interested, then go for it.
If your goal is gaining a PhD. then it would be a good idea. But the reasons for getting the PhD. has to be similar to the ones listed above.
Now we should get into some of the BAD reasons for getting a master’s degree:
- It is FREE!
With the Saudi Government’s King Abdullah Scholarship Program this is statement is actually possible, and yes, it seems like a very good idea, BUT, in reality it is NOT free, you are still spending the biggest asset in life, Time. the time you spend in getting your degree could have been better spent earning experience.
- I Will Get a Better Position:
Where, in your current company? they would have sent you themselves. In a different company? Maybe, but your chances are better if you had the experience.
- I Just Completed my Undergraduate Degree and Would Like to Keep Going Since I am in Student Mood:
NO! This could be a very bad idea, for so many reasons,,, here are some:
- Chances for a job after you graduate are very low, recruiters will usually not consider these types of candidates.
- Your salary will not be different from someone with an undergraduate degree.
- Learning Management:
Again, No, first of all, we are in a time were leadership is needed, not management secondly, in this day and age, you search for and learn almost any subject you would like, especially leadership and management.
First of all, that is a ridicules reason, but even if you were convinced that it was a good enough reason, guess what, a master’s degree is not prestigious anymore. Simple as that
Now this doesn’t mean you stay idle,,, there are many ways, here are some:
I am a great believer of training (maybe because it is where I started my HR career), and yes, I agree with the people who say that you can’t compare a master’s degree to a 2-10 days of training. But I believe the added value to someone taking training -if the outline and the trainer are selected carefully- better.
- On-Line Courses:
This is something that is accessible, and always improving and developing. A good example is coursera.
- Accredited Training:
Honestly, I don’t know if I am calling it by its correct name or not, but what I mean is the training provided by a recognized, chartered, and accredit training center, institute or association. Some examples are:
- for HR: PHR, SPHR, CIPD courses,… etc.
- for Accounting: CIA, CA, CPA, CMA,… etc.
- and the list is endless.
- Part-Time, Online or Affiliation Master’s Degree:
If you REALLY want to get an master’s degree for whatever reason you convinced yourself, the least of it is to take it as a Part-Time, Online or Affiliation, where you will not lose the time in gaining the professional experience.
At the end, it is your choice, and I hope you all the best with your decision.
My point of view is not set in stone, and the situation might change, this is relevant for the current time being. You never know, I might go and continue my master's degree one day.
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