master's degree

Discussion in 'Career Advising' started by hamza324, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. hamza324

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    33
    1
    Hi all,
    I used the forum here a lot during m undergrad and it was great help.
    I have started my career in power industry and i want to do masters in power side.
    I came across this program which i really liked.
    https://online.wsu.edu/grad/ElectricPower.aspx
    This is called as Professional Science Master's (PSM) program and it covers a variety of subjects that i am really looking and the other colleges are not offering.
    I am just a little confused about the PSM vs the actual masters.
    Does someone has any idea/feedback about this?
     
  2. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,180
    1,800
    Will your employer offer to rebate any or even all of your tuition? Approximately $6,000 per semester does not seem like a bargain to me from a state supported school. I estimate that it will take 4 semesters to complete this degree for a total cost approaching $32,000 (tuition, books, fees). Assuming that you'll get a modest salary bump of $2,000-$3,000/yr, it would take about 10 years to recoup the cost. In the meantime, the time you have available for work will be reduced. I think you will be better off concentrating on your job, saving as much as you can and doing the Master's degree later after having 3-5 years of work experience under your belt. Then you can assess the value of continued education or pursuit of the management track.
     
    justtrying and hamza324 like this.
  3. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,073
    3,856

    @hamza324

    A masters degree is both expensive and time consuming. Time is one of those things that people do not value well. Think about the time you won't have to enjoy traveling, planning, taking care of your household, enjoying time with friends and family, exercising, dating, ... (Assuming you are not married and no kids).

    If you have a wife/kids, no time is better spent that spending time with family, having fun, helping with homework and exposing your kids to new and interesting things.

    Not all employers value masters degrees. Even if they pay for it, they may not give you a raise. You need to (a) make sure the employer pays for the masters degree tuition, (b) reward you for getting the masters degree, (c) make sure you understand the commitment you have to your employer AFTER you complete the masters (e.g. They may pay for the tuition but expect you stay with the company for at least two years after you complete the degree - if you leave early, you have to return the money to your employer).

    If, on the other hand, you don't feel confident in your skills vs what you need to do at work each day and you think you have free time and/or you really enjoy taking coursework, then go for it.

    You are wise to ask about the PSM degree. I can't help you there. But, not all masters degrees are the same - talk to your employer, too. See if they understand/value a PSM degree.
     
    hamza324 and Papabravo like this.
  4. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
    2,664
    634
    I think it would be a good idea to ask the institution whether the Professional Science Master's degree is an accredited Master or not.
     
    hamza324 likes this.
  5. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
    998
    I did what you're doing. I did a masters program while working my first job(s) out of college. I don't think the degree really made any difference in my career advancement/pay. What is important, IMO, is what you learn in the program. What's helped me the most in 20 years is I've continued to learn and adapt to changing technology and required skill base. A masters program will help guide you towards learning and preparing for the future, or you can study and learn on your own. Think about this; you take the program and finish in two years. Then y0u work for the next 30 years in the industry. What you learn in the program gets you through the next 5-6 years, and then your knowledge and skill base will expand and adapt to your industry's needs from your own efforts. You'll do your own research and get nothing for your efforts but the personal satisfaction that comes along with learning.

    So, in case my ramblings have confused you and left you with more questions, I'll summarize by just saying the 'type' of degree is less important than the actual knowledge/skills gained.

    One more thing, in my experience, some of the most important knowledge gained for my career was via "un-credentialed" learning, seminars, so-called "adult" learning, etc.
     
    hamza324 and DickCappels like this.
  6. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,180
    1,800
    We also learn from our peers. Seek out a mentor at your workplace and cultivate that relationship. It will be of immense value to you.
     
    hamza324 and DickCappels like this.
  7. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
    2,664
    634
    And while at it, join a professional society that is aligned with your chosen field. The IEEE is a good place to start but there might be smaller and more focused organizations for your chosen field. Such societies are excellent places to find a mentor. It is best if your mentor does not work for the same company as you.
     
    hamza324 likes this.
  8. Sinus23

    Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    164
    416
    This might be different country to country and differ on the trade you're mastering. If you have finished school here as an EE, electrician, plummer, carpenter and such the thing you want to do so you'll be able to start your own company/business is take the 2 semesters that will give you a masters degree in your field. If I understand it correctly the masters degree in those fields is mostly about learning to run a business(at least here) . If you ain't a "master" then you can only work for another person or need at least get him/her to sign up their name on all jobs that you take on.

    This is roughly how it works here. And oh, I might have forgot. The master course for those trades is pretty cheap here compared to $6,000. More like $600-1000
     
    hamza324 likes this.
  9. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,180
    1,800
    A Master's Degree from an accredited graduate school is actually the consolation prize for failing to qualify for a PhD.
     
    hamza324 likes this.
  10. hamza324

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    33
    1
    Thank you everyone for responding...
    I have a good base in power systems as i took power system courses during my undergrad.
    I also feel that its better to focus at work and gain knowledge on my own....
    I have been researching and learning if anything/term new comes up and i think my knowledge from undergrad is enough to help me understand anything else related to my field/work.
    Your opinions have helped me make a more informed decision...
    This forum has always bren very useful for me ..
     
    GopherT likes this.
Loading...