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My Master's Wasn't Worth It

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by fuzzy_corleone, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. fuzzy_corleone

    fuzzy_corleone Regular Member

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    I don't have a masters but these folks are telling their horror stories:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/my-master-s-wasn-t-worth-it-173855765.html?page=all

    Code:
    MBAs: A dime a dozen?
    
    Be careful what you study. Going to grad school isn't always worth the time, effort and money.
    
    
    [B]Name: Aaron Fraser, 42[/B]
    Place: Virgin Islands
    
    I once looked at the MBA as the crème de la crème of business degrees, but now I realize I'm a dime a dozen.
    
    I have an MBA in media management from Metropolitan College of New York and a master's in organizational leadership from Mercy College. I am in debt to the tune of $120,000, and for me, it just wasn't worth it.
    
    After graduating, I applied for jobs in New York for at least a year. In interviews, I was either overqualified, or high risk.
    
    I am high risk, so I'm told, because I have multiple degrees, which means it's more likely that I would pursue other means of employment if I am offered a higher salary.
    
    I'm 42 years old, and I'm competing with 25-year-olds who have MBAs from Harvard. There are so many young people with MBAs from exclusive schools, it's very difficult for somebody like me to compete. Employers don't expect middle aged people to be innovators.
    
    My master's is a joke
    
    
    [B]Name: Jen Smialek, 31[/B]
    Place: Boston, Mass.
    
    I work in such a completely different industry, it's a joke amongst co-workers that I have a master's in education.
    
    I completed that degree -- which was my second master's -- in 2010, and taught for a year in Boston. It was the hardest work I've ever done, but I loved it.
    
    A year later, it was first in, first out in terms of layoffs. I didn't have any seniority and I was unfortunately laid off.
    
    I couldn't find another teaching job, so I returned to marketing. I had about $26,000 in student debt from that master's, and I've since paid off most of it (I completed my first master's for less than $500).
    
    If I could go back, I wouldn't earn the education degree again. It was a good personal enrichment activity, but for someone like me who does Internet marketing, my career would benefit more from an MBA.
    
    I work 3 part-time jobs
    
    
    [B]Name: Nick Hintz, 28[/B]
    Place: Kansas City, Mo.
    
    When I graduated from my undergraduate program in 2008, I had a bachelor's degree in psychology, which was too general to get me a job. I wanted to go into business, so I decided to earn a master's degree in human resources at the University of Minnesota.
    
    At the time, it was rated as the number two HR school in the nation, and it cost a lot to go there. I took out $120,000 in student loans. The economy was unraveling at the time, but I hoped that over a couple years, the job market would improve.
    
    Instead, things got worst. I graduated in 2010 at the bottom of the U.S. job market. At the time, only about half our class found jobs.
    
    Now it's been more than two years, and I'm competing against fresh grads for entry-level positions and leadership training programs. A career counselor told me I missed the boat on getting a solid return on investment for my master's.
    
    I have three part-time jobs. I am an unpaid volunteer in a local hospital's HR department, I'm a content manager for a video game website, and I clean typewriters... yes, typewriters.
    
    I'm stuck with a large amount of debt, I have this fancy master's no one cares about, and I can't get the experience I need. I'm really at a loss of what to do.
    
    My master's wasn't worth the debt
    
    
    [B]Name: Daniel Snyder, 38[/B]
    Place: Chicago, Ill.
    
    I've always been in tune with other people's emotions, so I studied psychology, hoping to be a clinician or a therapist.
    
    I earned a bachelor's and then master's degree in clinical psychology, but at the end of my final internship, I became ill and was hospitalized for a few days. I still graduated from the program, but because I had not finished my internship, I was unable to get a license to practice as a psychologist.
    
    I was told I could return in a year to re-start the internship process. In the meantime, I hoped I could still get a job, applying the degree to other fields that don't require a license. I sent out more than 300 applications.
    
    It's been almost a year and I have not been able to apply my degree to any jobs in human resources, psychology consultation or even restaurant management. I am just starting school again, now for a master's degree in human resources. I've been living off credit cards essentially, acquiring about $25,000 in debt. And that's in addition to the $60,000 in student loans I acquired in grad school.
    
    I had to sell my car. It got so bad that some points, my phone or power would be shut off.
    
    Not only was my first master's not worth the debt, it wasn't worth the emotional journey of going through a program that requires such introspection and self reflection. If I had to do this all over again, I probably would have just gotten an HR degree instead of a social science degree.
    
    I want to use my degree
    
    
    [B]Name: Mary LeMay, 47[/B]
    Place: Stevens Point, Wisc.
    
    After working 18 years in financial counseling, I went back to school in my 40s to earn a master's degree in community counseling.
    
    I had always aspired to be a school counselor, but when I started the program, I was informed there were very few job openings in schools. I chose community counseling instead, because I was told it was a larger umbrella with more opportunities.
    
    After graduating in May 2010, I knew that most counselor positions would require certification as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor). In Wisconsin, that would entail an additional two years and 3,000 hours working under the direction of someone in the field. I didn't know how difficult it would be to obtain that certification.
    
    I've been looking for those positions, but it seems there are so few job opportunities for someone to become a counselor-in-training. Very few employers are willing to supervise you.
    
    Why do graduate schools keep churning out counselors when there are so few jobs or opportunities for certification?
    
    I funded my masters degree with $20,000 in student loans. I'm still looking forward to being able to use my degree, but I'm just wondering if that's ever going to happen.
    
    I'm overeducated
    
    
    [B]Name: Sean Padden, 42[/B]
    Place: Providence, R.I.
    
    I have more education than I know what to do with, and I am one of the long-term unemployed who have given up hopes of finding a job.
    
    After a double major in chemistry and microbiology as an undergrad, I earned a master's degree in molecular biology and gained teaching experience in cellular, micro, molecular and plant biology.
    
    I thought this wide array of experience would at least get me interviews. After hundreds of applications over the past four years, I have had less than five interviews.
    
    My solution has been to try and employ myself. I resorted going back to a high school hobby, as a job.
    
    I'm working on starting a woodworking business that makes canes, using a special kind of diseased wood. Basically, I'm using my chemistry background to create functional pieces of art.
    
     
  2. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    Depends on the degree and what you plan to do with it. If you already have a law degree for example and are working in law, then taking on a masters in International law will add more options to your career.

    Hardest hit is MBA degrees. Too many colleges offered the course and too many people thought "this is a gold standard degree thats guaranteed to keep me desireable in the job market" Unfortunately an MBA is not really a business degree its a degree that looks at the science of scaling big companies. An MBA is useful if you are going to be the production line manager of a large plant, less so in normal business. Any degree will help you but I wouldnt plan on getting into debt and spending 15+ hours a week studying unless I had a very focused plan.
     
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  3. fuzzy_corleone

    fuzzy_corleone Regular Member

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    I'm actually seriously considering going back to school to get my MBA but the masters in finance seems better. Ideally I'd like to get into banking.
     
  4. jazzc

    jazzc Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Do you have any plan on how you 're going to land a job or you 're just playing dices here?
     
  5. jammie

    jammie Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    ...the PhD graduate situation is even worse. Most end up taking standard Graduate jobs here in the UK.

    If you go to the right university, have the right contacts and you can make yourself appear to be the right candidate for someone ... you'll get jobs. I currently get offered 3-5 jobs a year without approaching anyone purely due to people appreciating my existing work. I don't take any of the offers though.

    Stick to applied and pure sciences, set up your own business and make sure you go to a decent institution. Done.
     
  6. ukraider

    ukraider Newbie

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    Depends on the University or Business School you go to. My University has a pretty decent Business School and is in the top in Europe for certain Masters Programs, basically everyone on the Masters programs which we are ranked highly for get a job out of it in the end.

    However, the MBA has become the most over subscribed degree in the world and people are popping out of awful Universities in the UK with MBA's which have really started to devalue the degree. Both my parents have MBA's from 20-30 years ago and then have been very successful and both earn salaries in the UK's top tax bracket. But the value of an MBA has changed a lot in the time since they completed theirs and personally I wouldn't do one.
     
  7. Cratos

    Cratos Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    'Education' is a joke now a days. I hate school because of all of the time and money it sucks out of you. I'm in school and during class I'm like dam I rather be doing IM.

    the only thing that interferes with my learning is my education, as Einstein once said.
     
  8. bust-in

    bust-in Registered Member

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    A big part of school is networking with classmates, they can become useful connections in the future since they will most likely be working in the same field. Also, this article seems to be talking about career-students, people who continue to go to school for different things and rack up debt all in the search for a job. I would say if you can get an education with very little debt either through a scholarship or your parents school is definitely worth it. Trade school is the best investment as fewer and fewer people want to be plumbers/electricians/carpenters etc. but I'm guessing all of you don't like working with your hands if your on an internet marketing forum lol.
     
  9. BreakAllTheClocks

    BreakAllTheClocks Regular Member

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    Looks like a bunch of 3rd-tier schools and worthless degrees.

    In fact 3 of those listed: counseling, education and social work are among the 5 lowest paying Master's degrees.


     
  10. Duffers5000

    Duffers5000 Elite Member

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    I am on my 5th module of an MBA. I have put it on hold but could complete it in a year. In my case I am self employed and education is just to push myself and learn new things, so I wasnt really looking for career prospects.

    As it happens I have gotten into computer science and programming and I am enjoying spending more time on that.

    I would recommend doing even a 6 month course just to get you back into academia, and after that you will have a better Idea of what you want to do. The MBA its not a bad thing, it might help you get a job but the days when it added an instant 50K a year to your salary are gone.
     
  11. s0ap

    s0ap Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    An MBA or Master's degree in social sicences, psychology, etc. is not going to be that employable, especially walking in cold off the street with no experience. I know a bunch of people with Master's in electrical engineering and they turn 90k+ pretty easy in an area where cost of living is around 30k/year. I also know a few kids that got hired on with Bachelor's degrees in EE at ~65k with a contracted raise to 85k within twelve months.

    I don't necessarily think that an MBA is a horrible choice or a waste of money, but if you want to be a professional in an area that is centered around social interaction the onus is on you to be proactive with regard to your future and your career. This applies to all higher education but moreso in a job that lacks a tangible physical output to be measured by. Start securing those internships and building your resume as soon as possible.
     
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  12. davidzweber9

    davidzweber9 Junior Member

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    Has anyone heard anything good or bad about the Full Sail IM degree?

    We called them 'Full Jail' for the music industry course they offered. To get anywhere in entertainment you need contacts. I have spent 20 years meeting people & that has helped. No degree, so I'm thinking of taking their IM Ba course to get some crap job while I build my online business.
     
  13. illfounded21

    illfounded21 Senior Member

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    It all depends on your plan, the degree and who you are.

    When I completed (actually during) my MSc I instantly got offered an incredibly sought-after job. I am 99% sure I would not have been able to secure this job without the A) 'MSc Degree' title on my CV B) Knowledge gained from it in my specific field on business.

    Speaking from personal experience and those of my peers, a MSc nowadays just helps to separate you out from the rest of the competitive graduate pack that are desperately seeking jobs in every conceivable job sector.

    For me, it was a game-changer.
     
  14. scallen37

    scallen37 Junior Member

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    A lot of people get Masters because they go out into the job market after they get their 4 year degree and when they don't get a job within the first year or two, they go back to their college and say "Hey, what the fuck happened here? Why don't I have a job" so the counselors look you in the eye and say "Hey, its a tough economy, if you want one of those jobs, you have to come back and get your Masters."

    Then they go back, and of course, don't get a job because now they are 30 years old and don't have any actual job history or related experience.

    You can't make it in the job market if you aren't smart enough to make it without being in the job market.

    For example: I'm getting my Masters right now, have a couple semesters left. I put on my resumes that I'm currently obtaining it. Sent it out, no real response. Most of my job offers were for $32k a year jobs in sales with companies with horrible turn over rate. The bigger and better jobs weren't calling. I eventually started calling them and requested someone in HR go over my resume with me so that I have a higher chance at success for future positions. It was said that I wasn't chosen for an interview because of my lack of employment - although I was in school. When I mentioned "I was getting my degree, and hey, I created a business that nets $360,000 after taxes each year, with just $500." This changed the tune of things and I was hired for an Operations Management position within a week after one of the conversations. The current Operations Manager was told he was being moved up. Day I started, was the day he was fired and I took over his job. I did this for about 2 months before decided that going to work as a return on my investment of time wasn't worth it. I was getting a salary of $44,000 a year to make a steel service company $27,000,0000 a year.

    Also, the U.S. job market is 10 times shittier than what the media would suggest. This is one of the only things the media actually down plays. I was in China, couldn't speak a word of Mandarin, offered a job paying $80,000 USD within my first week of being there as a project manager for a video game company. Then I was offered a job in eCommerce, I was even offered a job as a Sales Coordinator for a company based and head quartered in my hometown of Muscatine, Iowa with a branch in Shanghai where I was I turned down for an entry level sales position.
     
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  15. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Some of them have already done the 1 degree and not gotten a job from it, but still want to go back and get into more debt for another degree, thinking that will help them.

    Jesus.


     
  16. lizmoz

    lizmoz Power Member

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    I can't believe these threads always appear here every now and then. Education is not only for landing a job people! Broad knowledge of things and the contacts you have (hopefully) from your time in college/uni/wherever are pure GOLD!

    If you pursue money only, yeah, school is not a necessity, that's true.
     
  17. charles457

    charles457 Junior Member

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    I got Bachelor Degree and stayed online to make a living and now im balling out if its about a certain job with a degree I gave that up and said all I need is the money and thats all I focus on
     
  18. mikeydell

    mikeydell Senior Member

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    Things are getting tough all over. My brother has a masters in civil engineering and can't buy a job. He get's the same line of shit as alot of others do "overqualified" I don't know how others run their business, but me... I'm looking for the best! I'm not sure their is a such thing as "overqualified" Only companies looking to save a buck, or simply afraid to hire someone that is smarter than they are...
     
  19. silentthunder

    silentthunder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you're going to school and you like puters you can write your own ticket with a computer science
    degree in the U.S. and the "New World Order". :listen:
    That won't change in the foreseeable future either unless we blow ourselves up.
     
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  20. worldbh

    worldbh Registered Member

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    This is a lesson in look or research before you leap. JOB stands for [just over broke]. Myself as an educated fool at least I have a chance - since I am qualified as a programmer, asset protection planner, knowledgeable tax and corporate setup planner. I know big deal!, but what this all says is you need to prepare yourself for the world we live in and that means understanding basic law, accounting, marketing, and the politics of our time. So if you are a young person study your interests so you can at least create a business or a job that you control and not have someone else controlling you.