Master’s Degree: What should I do with my life?

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to figure out what should be the next step when I come back to America. My plan so far is to finish a full year with BEDA then if I have money saved I’ll backpack through Asia.  But after that, I need a plan and that plan needs to be made soon. hotmess

If I want to get a master’s I will have to study for the GRE, write my personal statement, and figure out the schools I want to apply to.  Or if I plan to not go to graduate school, I need to build my portfolio now, network as much as possible, look at where I can move to get the most opportunity and pick up skills now that will make me marketable.  Even though I have a whole year to think it through I need to do a lot within that year to make things happen.  One thing, I try to keep in mind is that plenty of successful people were in worst positions than I at my age.

Pros & Cons

I have my degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in Professional Writing.  I’d like to get a master’s in Communications or Public Relations.   My internship was in Professional Writing at the KiMo Theater. So I made a list.  My ideal job would be in travel branding or entertainment public relations.  Mostly, I want to work in communications and see where I end up. Realistically, I’d start in copy writing and work up with or without a master’s degree.

Pros of Graduate School Cons of Graduate School
  • Gives me an opportunity to gain more skills
  • Be able to get an internship in my field
  • An opportunity to bulk up my portfolio
  • Student loans can help me get set up somewhere away from Albuquerque
  • Meet people in my field
  • Use opportunity to have semester abroad
  • Opportunity to do research in my field
  • If I don’t go to graduate school I might have to work service jobs before I get on my feet
  • I will inevitably have to get a master’s degree to move up
  • Some PR jobs won’t hiring me with a Psychology degree, they want a English degree
  • A master’s degree can offset my low GPA
  • It’s a lot of money
  • I could just go into the industry without it
  • It takes a lot of hoops to get into graduate school
  • I may not be able to get into graduate school
  • I could wait until I actually need a masters’ and possibly have a job pay for it
  • Putting off going into master’s means they’ll ask for less things like GPA or recommendations
  • I could get a master’s degree and end up in a totally different field and have wasted time and money
  • It might be better to see exactly what niche works for me before making such a big commitment
  • I have a decent portfolio already that can get me through the door.

Making a Decision

I’ve been tossing and turning with what to do.  I’ve talked to professors, created lists of school and talked to college advisors. I honestly still don’t know what to do.  Part of me just really doesn’t want to go to graduate school simply because it’s a lot of paperwork. The other part of me truly doesn’t want to end up at a dead end job.

masters

I see people with master’s degrees from prestigious universities mixing my cocktails for a living or managing retail stores.  It is so competitive out there, my little 2.7 GPA from a state university is laughable.  This scares me so much because the reality is my resume is subpar and it’s cut throat out there.

I Know I’m Not Alone

Many of my peers have the same concern.  What do we need to do to create our success? The worst case scenario if I get my master’s degree, is I get what I think is a dream job and then it turns out I hate it and actually would do better in something completely different. Then all this time and money was just to get another little line on my resume. Or if I don’t get my degree and move to Los Angeles or Seattle, I get there and just end up at a waitress job and can’t qualify for anything else.  Then I just wasted a bunch of money to move somewhere where I can’t make the life I wanted.

I think everyone in their twenties has this quarter life crisis.  I’ve talked about it before.I think the more everyone talks about their process the more others can find a away to form their own opinion. So hopefully this article helps others that are also questioning all their life choices.

THE NEXT BIG THING (1)

Conclusion

Either way, I’m going to have a lot of fun traveling.  Right now, I need goals for my blog, for publishing pieces and possibly picking up copy writing gigs so when I return to America I have a portfolio.  This way whether I’m showing my portfolio to a graduate school or an employers, I can be a little more confident. But at the end of the day, I know I’ll be successful because I’m resourceful.

10 thoughts on “Master’s Degree: What should I do with my life?

  1. I did my masters right after undergraduate studies, did it in media relations and Asian studies. I ended up enjoying it a lot, and that’s when I got reacquainted with my love for writing. Now, still as a twenty-something feeling that quarter life crisis thing, I’m honestly not sure if employers out there truly value a postgraduate in the arts. But what I do know is that I don’t regret doing it – I’m the writer I am today because of it. Good luck with your decision 🙂

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  2. Just take a step. It doesn’t matter which one. I got my masters when I was 41 years old. I enjoyed the process, because I was much more relaxed at that stage. Take a breath and enjoy your young self 🙂 Best to you!!

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  3. The one thing I would definitely recommend if you do decide to do a masters is doing it part-time. This spreads the work over two years, and also spreads how much you have to pay, as you pay half the total cost each year. I did my masters part-time and to be honest I thought it was easier then my undergraduate degree. Also it may give you time to work on a part-time job as well if you wanted to.

    I think that if you can afford it go for it as anything that helps you stand out when applying for a job is a good thing. Even if you don’t get a job in the same field as your masters it shows you have commitment, self-discipline and determination to see through a project to the very end. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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  4. Good luck with your decision! I’ve found that after my first post college job that no one really asks about my GPA anymore, they’re much more interested in relevant experience.

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  5. I LOVE telling people what to do. After my undergraduate, I couldn’t stand the thought of more classes. But for my teaching job a master’s is required. So I was a little older, went part-time are night and got much better grades because I was older and cared more. As your reader above stated, no one has ever asked me about my GPA, but often about my degrees. My plan worked very well for me, and I make much more money than I would have without the Master’s. Just sayin’

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