Have you been thinking to go back to study Master’s for quite some time, and yet still not sure whether to leave your job and take the leap? Here are some pointers to help you decide!
Around this time last year, I was writing for Indonesia Mengglobal about my decision not to do Master’s straight after graduation. In that post, I’ve weight the pros and cons about going to workforce after finishing Bachelor’s degree, or to continue studying because: 1. There are too few jobs around and too much competition or 2. We are still thirsty for further education.
Today, I find it somewhat ironic and yet somewhat exciting that I would be starting my Master’s degree tomorrow (yes, tomorrow). After one and a half year of work, I have finally decided to go back to Melbourne, studying Master of Publishing and Communications. While I’m receiving a lot of invitations to friends’ Master’s graduation ceremonies, I have just finished my orientation week.
Yes, perhaps it’s ironic.
That said, I couldn’t be happier with the decision I’ve made. I’m coming back now to further education with some working experience under my belt. It’s by no mean the best way (going back to Master’s after working is no better than going to Master’s straight after Bachelor’s), but I believe it’s the right way for me.
So if you’ve been working for quite some time and has that inkling to go back to study Master’s, here are some ways to help you answer the calling:
1. You are eager to learn more
I’m not saying that you’ll learn more by studying Master’s compared to working (in fact, many people find working experience worth much more than a zillion degrees), however at times we may have learned all we can through work, and to get to the next level, a Master’s degree would be more beneficial.
This is especially true for those who want to study MBA after years of working. So if you feel like you’re stuck in your work after five years, perhaps it’s time to brush up your brain.
2. You would love to switch career paths
Eighty three per cent of graduates work at different fields compared to their chosen majors. Okay, I just made that statistic up, but it’s nevertheless true that most times we end up at a completely different career to what we have been studying. If you have a background in science but would love to become an accountant, that degree in accounting would open so many doors.
3. It’s required for that job promotion
I know this to be true: In some big companies in Indonesia, you wouldn’t be able to be a Director unless you have a Master’s degree. If you have become a Manager for quite some years and you feel like you are unable to go further in your career, perhaps it’s time to get that Master in International Business. Perhaps it’s time to study Master of Architecture.
Not only your title would look even better in your wedding invitations, the extra knowledge might even open opportunities to work in international settings as well.
4. You can still afford it (both in terms of time and money)
Again, I’m not saying that people who are married or have started a family can’t go to Master’s (yes, they can). But of course, it has its challenges. You may be torn between working and earning for your family compared to spending and studying for your degree.
So while you’re still single, have the time, and can spare your income to better knowledge in your brain, why not? While not all jobs will need a Master’s degree, I couldn’t see any harm (apart from being overqualified for jobs) in having postgraduate studies tucked securely behind our belts.
5. If it’s not for the degree/knowledge, do it for the network
I know a friend who did her Master’s not because of the knowledge and degree per se, but because of the academic environment and network she was exposed to. And again, I think it’s really true. By being surrounded with like-minded people – academics who have been there, done that and experienced people in the big industries (on whom we would have no access otherwise), we may be one step closer to realise our dreams.
My parents (who are ecstatic in knowing my decision to go back to Master’s) always says that education is the best investment there is. Even if you end up not needing a Master’s, it will never go to waste. So if you still have the capacity and capability to do so, well, why not?
Ps. For those of you who are continuing your studies soon, here I am raising a glass, cheering us all for a great semester ahead!
Photo by Alpha