When is investing in a Masters Degree really worth it? A Masters Grad shares experience

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Disclaimer: The article referenced here was published on Forbes.com. Go to link below to read the full article.

Academic institutions promote the idea that investing a large amount of money into a masters degree will likely pay off by improving the chances of getting a high paying job. But this is not a play and win scenario, especially in the current job market and the resent massive lay off from banks and other corporate organisations.

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masters degreeIn an article, “The $50,000 Question: Can A Master’s Hurt Your Job Prospects?” On Forbes.com, the write asked,

“So if you’ve been working for a few years, should you leave your job to pursue an advanced degree and to improve your skills, only to return to find that you have to start at the bottom again?  That is the $50,000 question (give or take several thousand, depending on program).”

The writer, after acquiring a Masters of Arts in communication, culture, and technology, realized two years into job hunting, that her extra education was hurting her prospect of getting a job. A $50,000 worth of education which seemed like a life changer turned out to be just overrated. The article didn’t go to discourage one from acquiring a master’s degree but encourages that you really evaluate your reasons for going for a master’s degree and making the right choice for your advance education.

Often times what these extra education does is induce a sense of entitlement and overinflated ego; the feeling that, with your expensive piece of paper, you deserve more than others with less academic qualification. Most times experience outperform academic.

*Don’t get this wrong; this has nothing to do with discouraging advanced degree. Go ahead with it if that is what you want.*

The author in the article admitted that,

“Hundreds of interviews later, our egos have certainly been deflated. It’s not just the lowly assistant positions and small salaries we encounter. Even worse is the scorn we’ve all encountered at the mention of our Master’s of Arts degrees”.

The writer admits,

“…not all degrees deliver. Graduate degrees in information technology, computer programming and engineering have proven value. So do medical degrees. MBAs may, or may not, pay off. The humanities? Sometimes, it seems an advanced degree in the humanities can actually hinder a career (unless you’re going into something like public school teaching, where those with an advanced degree are automatically paid more.)”

There’s no right answer. It doesn’t say, ‘get or don’t get your master’s degree’. At least it helps to hear the experience of others; whether we can relate to it or not.

Here is an excerpt from the article;

 “Uh, sorry but we never asked you to get your master’s.”

This slap in the face was delivered during an interview I had for a job at one of the country’s largest and fastest growing social media companies. (In the interest of my future prospects, I won’t name it.)

I had just completed a Master’s of Arts in communication, culture, and technology at Georgetown University and had already told the interviewer I’d be willing to take a salary paying less than I was making before grad school. But still, he had to rub it in.

Two years, twenty-five pounds, and an obscene amount of money later and my master’s degree didn’t sound like a credential, but a mark against me. In the end, I wasn’t offered the job and could only wonder whether my master’s degree was the reason why.

We’ve all heard talk that investing $50,000 in a master’s degree might not pay off in terms of improved job prospects or higher salary. But could extra education actually hurt employability?


Read the full article here

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