Was Your Master’s Degree Worth It?

by Yesha Callahan

Master'sWhen I look around at my small circle of friends, there are those with master’s degrees and doctorates and the ones that decided to take different routes when it came to their education and careers. Outside of my attorney and doctor friends, there’s occasionally the “If I had to do it all over again” conversation when it comes to pursuing a college education.

We all know education isn’t cheap and student loan debt is a motherfucker. I have several friends who won’t see a light at the end of the tunnel for at least 10 years. Their biggest complaint is that although a college education has its benefits, it seems as that their return on investment (ROI) hasn’t been met. Especially when that monthly check to Sallie Mae is sent.

As someone with a background primarily in Human Resources, I’ve seen people move up in their careers solely based on their hands on experience and connections. Also, when I look at my friends in the IT sector, plenty of them took a more non-traditional route and bypassed a four-year college.  But it’s been said that a four-year degree isn’t worth much any more, so people should aim for master’s and doctorates. But is that master’s degree worth it?

In a recent Yahoo Finance article, several people gave examples of why they consider their degrees a joke and not worth it. For example, here’s Aaron Fraiser:

Name: Aaron Fraser, 42

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.

Then there’s Jen Smialek:

Name: Jen Smialek, 31

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.

Do you think your master’s was worth it or necessary?

  • http://defendingmoney.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    When I was a classroom teacher it was a requirement to have a Master’s. Teaching is safe but even now teachers are being attacked and laid off left and right for the peanuts they earn.

    I have since left the classroom to own my own boutique PR agency. I don’t regret my education because I have associates who can’t even get a call back because they’ve dropped out of college…but the very successful people in business that I admire all seem to have little to no education: from Diddy to Jay to B to Rihanna…not nan one of these people have 10 college credits between them yet they are living what the rest of us desire: to be paid out the whazoo in doing what we love.

    Education is never a waist of time but it’ll never make you rich. Entrepreneurship is the way to go but you’ve got to have the stomach for it.

  • http://gravatar.com/bossladi bossladi

    Its a situation of “Damned if you do… doubled damned if you don’t”. In my experience, its better to have one than not too because many positions won’t even consider folks without an advanced degree. Its sad.

  • Rakel

    I was recently accepted into a Masters program…I hope it’s worth it. ITA that education isn’t a waste. But I pray it financially pays.

  • Job

    It all really depends on what you get your masters in. A masters degree in the arts does not offer as many job opportunities as a master’s degree in the sciences. In some jobs like engineering, a professional license and job experience can be more valuable than a masters.

  • Apple

    I thought college was a waste of time because it all matters to what you look like , who you know and how much experience you have (but if you have no experience people won’t hire you to get experience?) so I didn’t bother my time or money with a masters

  • ASK_ME

    Yes, it was worth it.

    I’m currently looking into doctorate programs. I think a lot depends on your career goals.

    I ultimately want to teach at an HBCU and I hope to retire from that job. I needed a Master’s degree for my current field.

    I would never recommend someone pursue a degree just for the hell of it. You must outline your goals before making such a commitment. I was fortunate. I never had to take out any student loans (my father is a successful doctor and my husband is a successful attorney), but I do feel sorry for people forced to do it.

    People who take out student loans are doing so based on their future income. If you later struggle to find adequate employment you will carry a heavy burden with thousands of dollars in student loans. The key is knowing your goals and being realistic about your future.

  • http://www.geekmommarants.com GeekMommaRants

    I have a Masters of Science in CompSci. It was not easy to get but I’m glad I did. Having the opportunity to work around the world even in South Africa. Love it! This Masters has been my key to FREEDOM!!!

  • Mama Mia

    Depending on what you majored in, college really isn’t a waste of time and doesn’t really matter on what you look like or the others (in most cases). A Black man with a Bachelor’s in Engineering is more valuable than a White man with a Master’s in Liberal Arts. It is what it is.

  • southerngirl

    Teaching is safe? Chile cheese!

    First of all, when I graduated in 08′ it took me 2 yrs to find a job teaching because of school closings, teacher layoffs and funding cuts.

    I had to move to a smaller city just to get my foot in the door. Educations is constantly under attack. There is no necessarily “safe” career field.

  • Kacey

    “…but the very successful people in business that I admire all seem to have little to no education: from Diddy to Jay to B to Rihanna…”

    You were a teacher? Seriously?

  • HelluvaEngineer

    THIS! As an engineering undergrad, you may spend an extra year in school (most people do) but you’ll definitely make somewhere in the mid-50K range starting, and more than a few of my friends have started with salaries of 70K or above. That’s the ONLY reason I considered the financial investment of going to an out-of-state engineering institute worth it.

  • mluv

    I just graduated with a B.A. in education. I’m want to purse a masters but not sure if I want to stick to an education related field. In contrast to getting an masters in special ed, I was thinking human resources or occupational therapy. I love working with kids and the classroom, but also want something that will offer me flexibility in the work world and maybe job security. Where i’m at, im slightly mortified with teaching in this system because teachers are getting laid of left and right; EVERY inch you make is micromanaged. I don’t have to be rich, just want to be comfortable.

  • K

    Nope my masters degree is about to be useless. My school does not properly prepare students and is notorious for red tape and misinformation. Its because of this misinformation and confusion that my degree will be useless. Its a long story to type but the gist is, I am in a program to get my Masters in Education with a Teaching Credential. I completed the degree part literally close to 2 years ago. I have been struggling since then to complete the credential part, i cannot pass one of the test. I perhaps would have had a better shot at passing had i been told to do it while student teaching but no i was told it was ok to do it after, I did and now I cannot pass. I also cannot receive help on the test or even have an advisor look over it for me (state rules apparently). I only have until June, after 2 years of trying to pass it, have decided to give up. I really want to teach but cannot teach without a credential, even the private schools now want a credentialed teacher. So now I will have a useless Masters Degree b/c I will have to just find a job that will probably have nothing to do with education because I need money and I now have a load of debt from it. My only hope before I completely give up on the education field is trying to find other avenues to teach such as a residency program or something. They are competitive but so far thats the only ave. I’ve seem to find. Yup useless Masters

  • Billy Paul

    Interesting article, I applaud the author and the above commentors. However, allow me to add that at this point in US history, AAs need what ever amount of education is going to put us in charge in the work place and eventually our lives. AA education arguably should revolve around putting us in the boss’s (and eventually the owner’s) position. If the most valuable asset AAs have at this particular point is their labor (which is debateable), then it would make sense to maximize the return on said labor.

    The 21st century will be the AA century and it can start by being the boss, literally.

    Our community has a lot of potential, let’s use it.

    Carry on, Family.

  • Apple

    Well I wasn’t smart enough to be an engineer so not what I majored in. Everyone can’t be a STEM major .

  • lj

    It certainly does matter what you look like and who you know. I am an engineering grad and I finished undergrad in 4.5 years and I still haven’t been hired in my field….and I know a lot of people who know absolutely nothing about engineering and they were hired straight out of school. Education is certainly not a waste of time but the only thing it guarantees you is exposure to information

  • http://www.geekmommarants.com GeekMommaRants

    Apple – my professor told me that anyone who could speak English could learn anything in the world. I hope you think about this. All the best!!

  • ASK_ME

    No, offense but you sound like the problem here.

    I know some real idiots who have successfully passed the state’s certification for educators.

    The test is not difficult.

    Several of my friends passed it while still in undergrad.

    You don’t sound motivated nor do you take any responsibility for your plight. It’s not the degree or the school…it’s you.

    I would feel shame if I was in a race and quit just short of the finish line. You have no one to blame here but yourself. Visit your nearest public library, pick up some study guides and get down to business. Nothing in life is going to come to you without HARD work.

  • ASK_ME

    Most black business owners are not college educated. They are small business owners (i.e., barbers, beauticians etc).

    Entrepreneurship in the black community probably won’t ever come from the black educated class.

    Why?

    Because we go to school and learn how to become employees–not employers. This needs to changed, but I doubt it ever will.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Bingo! It really depends on what you get it in that makes it worth it. And honestly the same thing can kind of be said for law school now of whether if it is worth it or not based on the type of law you want to get into. Right now in today’s economy and global market, it isn’t so much about what TYPE of degree you obtained but what is it in…

  • JaeBee

    Yes, my Masters degree was worth it. I currently work at a job where the prerequisite was having a Masters in the field. My department has stopped hiring bachelors level employees because they wanted employees with more clinical background.

  • Uh huh

    Go with occupational therapy. There are more job opportunities in that field and they pay very well.

  • Chelley5483

    Wow, I love this.. Go GeekMomma..

  • ChaCha1

    I won’t be as harsh as Ask Me, but…

    What?! You got this far and are basically going to give up? If you struggled for over 5-6 years (and passed class after class), you should struggle harder to make it worth it. You CAN do it, even if you struggle. Your future is your responsibility, but at this point, you’ve made a conscious decision to give up. You are defeating yourself.

  • http://succulentwomenfindlove.com Trenia

    Wow! This is powerful and so true. When most people go to college they are taught how to get along and be a cog in the wheel, not to innovate. The other issue worth examining is how do black folks who’s strength might be more geared towards social services, the public sector or liberal arts create careers and business that will bring value to the world? I have a master’s degree in social work and wanted to quit about half way through, but decided to finish. I finally figured out how to parlay my education and work experience into a business as a love and dating coach, but everyone doesn’t make the entrepreneurial/business connect to what they study. This is what students need to be taught how to do, regardless of what they study.

  • omfg

    why would you expect rappers and singers to have gone to college? of course they haven’t gone to college. they could care less about education.

    but many actors have actually gone to college. and i’m not talking about rapper actors. in fact, many prominent actors are surprisingly well-educated.

    and entrepreneurship without education only works in some professions? would you go to a doctor who didn’t go to school or an architect without training?

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    Instead of praying and hoping I strongly suggest you research the type of job opportunities available to people with your degree and their respective salaries. Good luck to you!

  • K

    First, as stated, i have been trying to pass for 2 years. 2) the reason I only have until June is b/c of all of my schools non sense they will no longer be able to recommend credentials to my state and as I havent passed in 2 years it is doubtful by some miracle I will pass in the next 4 months so yes i have made the decision to no longer try these next 4 months 3) I assure it its not an easy test, yes there are 2 easy test taken to get a credential and im sure you are thinking of those tests, they are ridiculously easy, the one i have been trying to pass is not 4) I know you are thinking of those easy test b/c those you CAN study for, this one you cannot as it is based on what you did during student teaching time. 5) ill give you the benefit of the doubt perhaps you live in one of these states where those easy test are all that is needed, more is required of my state

    i mistakenly thought that continuing to try for 2 years straight was me being motivated. And i was also mistakenly under the impression that going through school and repeatedly trying for these tests is hard work turns out im just shiftless and lazy and have not taken responsibility for my own learning because I gave up after one try thats it… thank you for your input I am now more aware of what a useless sack i am glad u could make me see :/

  • K

    ChaCha1 I am giving up b/c I only have 4 months left after that I CANT try anymore as my school is no longer offering program and will no longer be able to recommend teachers for credentialing. as I stated i have been trying for 2 YEARS STRAIGHT to pass this test and it is doubtful trying again in 4 months will work. On top of that i cannot receive any help, I cant study for it. They WONT tell any candidates where to improve b/c in their words, “the idea is that you figure it out on your own” well clearly from some of the other comments on here (not yours) its me and clearly im too stupid to figure it out on my own which is why i havent passed in all this time but i guess that just goes back to me not being responsible. I have struggled I have struggled very hard to get this far, but if i cant pass the test, I cant pass it. 2 years of failing it says that. I will still walk away with a degree, a useless one, but a degree, i simply wont have the credential. I would like to think it was as simple as me defeating myself unfortunately its not.

  • B

    A Master’s degree is not the issue. The field it pertains to is.

  • ASK_ME

    @K

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but do you know how many black people out here would LOVE to take your place?

    Do you know how many would LOVE to have the opportunity you are throwing away?

    If you don’t know I advise you to visit your local unemployment office.

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Get on your grind and TRY HARDER.

  • kc

    I think it all depends on your field, but as a WOC, I feel like the more education, the better. My education is my hammer. People are quick to second guess women of color who are authority figures. The more education you have, the more respect you can command.

  • Rakel

    Thanks Kam! I’m doing a combo.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    I agree. I hate seeing the reply “everyone can’t be a STEM” major. I mean yeah that’s true, but damn Black people it’s like we’re hardly even trying. STEM encompasses many fields. There has to be at least one you’re good at.I tell all my cousins to at least learn web design.

  • apple

    i wasn’t talking about black people, i was talking about ALL people.. And everyone can’t be STEM majors, if you aint got it you aint got it..

    here is my thumbs down

  • K

    Im not feeling sorry for myself, if anyone would trade places then i would too. I dont feel sorry for myself just facing facts. I cannot pass this test. 2 years of trying has proven that and it is time to throw in the towel. Of course I could try again in these 4 months i have left, but again after trying for 2 YEARS , YEARS not months, not days, not 2 TRIES, 2 YEARS and at over 10 attempts i think the universe is telling me it was not meant to be. so in answer to articles question which is all i was trying to explain, yes this degree will be useless for me.

  • seriously?

    Hey ask me you should probably learn how to actually motivate someone. U had the pleasure with time, because when you have money you have time, you don’t know all the factors that is contributing to her not being to fully comprehend all the material she needs to get her credentials . You’re dismissing her struggle as her just having a bad attitude and not studying hard enough. You’re saying she’s a lazy, pessimistic whose not trying hard enough because even “stupid” people you know can pass it. Such an ass comment really.
    I hate people like you who sees a person like her/me and dont see how hard they’re trying. I would be giving my complete all everything and still would fail and here comes people like you who didn’t seen my tears and my late hours studying, my tutors and my one and one with educators and still suuurrrrpprise failed.
    Oh but it’s because I’m a lazy, pessimistic who just need to change my attitude and try harder.
    -eye roll-

  • Joy

    Yesha: Congrats on a very good article. People take heed (I hope readers are paying attention)

  • http://EvetteDionne.com Evette Dionne

    I’m earning a Master’s degree now; I know it’s worth it because it’s free. I always encourage other students, particularly those of color, to find a school willing to foot the cost.

    I earned a full-ride dean’s fellowship and there are plenty of others other there.

  • laLa

    Great article can we talk about education a bit more and beyonce less this is more interesting but without the mother f***** comment

  • K

    thank you @seriously? i appreciate your comment b/c the fact of the matter is your last paragraph summed it up on my end. I was trying to avoid continuing to type as i have already typed too much but yes, me trying to pass this test has been a struggling journey, as i stated I cant receive help per the states rules but have done all i can. there have been countless tears, I have researched and studied others results who passed, i have gone back reworked my own trying to “see” what it is they say i am missing and nothing has worked.

    In fact, to all of you i literally just days ago received a failing score…again… i am tired of crying, tired of trying after 2 years and am drained. i dont think the remaining 4 months will do any good.

    Sometimes,(if we admit) we all need someone else to come in, present the argument a different way for us to have that “aha! moment” unfortunately i cannot even have someone else look at my work as it is against the rules. So someone else’s much needed and would have been much appreciated “fresh eyes” would have been helpful but such is life.. I just have to move on.

  • ASK_ME

    @Seriously?

    Cry me a phucking river. I would say the SAME thing to anyone that basically wasted YEARS pursuing higher education just to quit at the finish line.

    Would you rather I pat her on the back and say “Aw you gave it a good try!”

    No, I won’t say it because I don’t believe it. You and K are the only people here who have battled the odds. I struggled for years in math, but I didn’t just give up. I stuck with it until I finally got it.

  • kimkam

    K girl keep your head up! maybe you can do a teaching fellows job or assistant teach somewhere. I know a charter school that has a assistant teacher-teacher fellow-lead teacher pipeline. Its in DC, i dont know where you are but maybe the charter schools where you live do that. Life is hard this is true, but don’t listen to the SUCKAS like Ask me who talk big behind a computer screen, while not offering any helpful advice.

  • ASK_ME

    Helpful advice: Keep taking the test UNTIL you cannot take it anymore. Don’t just give up.

  • sesimag

    Yes! Completely worth it! It gave me the foundation I needed to launch my own magazine. Also, furthering your education is NEVER a waste of time.

  • Billy Paul

    Thank for your response. You made some good points, allow me to respond.

    Although I agree with your statement, “[e]ntrepreneurship in the black community probably won’t ever come from the black educated class,” I think that I need to clarify my point.

    I was not talking about entrepreneurship above, but about the place where the majority of AAs earn their living, which is working for someone else. My point was that if we work for company, then we should be then we should be part of the managerial class (i.e. managers and directors).

    In addition, I also agree with you that “we go to school and learn how to become employees–not employers.” However, working at a high level in a corporation arguably allows that person to learn how that company (and those similar to it) operates. My suggestion is not that all AAs run out and get a PhD, JD, MBA, or a MD, but that if they pursue an education, then they take it all the way and educate themselves to the point where they are in a position to give more orders than they take.

    I don’t think that it’s a case of “either or” but rather AAs should focus on both as a group.

  • LAS

    Reading this was a bit disheartening! I’m working on my Masters in Education now and I had to leave my job to finish it up. To add insult to injury it was at Mercy College. Currently I’m doing student teaching and I love being in the school but I’m afraid for what the future holds. It’s scary to read that I could quite possibly work for a year then not have anything. All I could do is hope that I’m doing the right thing and hope I find longevity in the teaching profession.

  • Billy Paul

    Preach!

    On a side note, ever thought about drafting EE patent applications?

  • Brook-Lyn

    Mercy college and MCNY are not colleges i would consider getting a degree from and paying 120,000 dollars for.. No shade but if you getting a MBA you gotta stomp with the big dogs to make it worth your time.

  • Worldly

    Yes it was worth it. I got my M.S. in Geography and GIS (Geographic Information Sciences/Systems) with a focus on public health and spatial analysis. I’m currently pursing my doctoral degree. My master’s degree and skills allow me to work in the health industry and federal (CDC, HHS, etc.).

    It was done without incurring a lot of student loan debt. Thank God!

  • JN

    Ohh…well what are you pursuing an M.Ed. for? Is it specifically for teaching, or are you looking to do something education-related?

  • Mademoiselle

    The fact is not all disciplines are highly sought after or in high demand. So if you’re someone who falls for the pitfall of “getting paid to do what you love,” and what you love is something that a limited number of people love too, getting an advanced degree in that area will take a while to pay off. Something’s got to give when you’re balancing working for income and being satisfied with your life.

    Education is a business just like any other, and choosing to pursue it (especially with loans) should be done with a business mindset.

    My master’s was definitely worth it — I knew it before I got it, and I made it so once I started going for it.

    My choice to pursue a master’s included researching what I’d make on a bachelor’s in my field, what I’d make on a master’s, which schools had the best placement rates and post-grad salary ranges for my field, how much the degree would cost, and how much I would have to make to avoid living check to check. It made no sense to me to take on upwards of a 6-figure debt load that only takes 2 years to amass, but would take 5 to 10 times as long to pay off. For me, all of my pre-planning MADE my master’s pay off, but in truth, no one should be taking on such large financial obligations without considering what it will take to break even on your investment and start reaping rewards from it. If you can get just as far in your career with 2 years of busting your ass on the job, why opt to pay someone to get you to the same position? In that same vain, if you can get the same necessary education for $0, you’ll realize a greater return on your investment much sooner than if you have to pay for it, so school choice makes a big difference in whether an advanced degree is worth it. Either way, if you’re going to commit to getting an advanced degree, especially one in a low-demand field, you have to be prepared to pound pavement, network your ass off, and chase down your returns until you get it!

    Final note: there used to be a time when a high school diploma was enough to get you a solid income stream up until college degrees became in-demand and high school diplomas were set to minimum status just before masters’ degrees became coveted and made bachelors’ the standard accomplishment… See the pattern? Anyone who thinks the degree they have now is the end-all will suffer a revelation in the next fewer-than-you-think years. If you want to avoid being left behind in the job market when big shifts in demand occur, you’ll need to keep learning until you die. Make your knowledge worthwhile by staying relevant.

  • lauryn

    I’m still trying to figure this one out. I finished my M.A. in English in May and am working as an adjunct instructor at a couple of campuses. It’s not easy, the pay is crap, but I do enjoy teaching. The flip side, however, is that I have ZERO stability and job security. I’m currently pursuing other avenues of employment while I teach ’cause I’ve got to get it together. I may venture to Marketing or Editorial work in the near future. If I had to do it again, I don’t think I would have gotten my Master’s in the field in which I did.

  • DownSouth Transplant

    K girl, I am sending an extra prayer on your behalf, that blessing come your way, maybe not when & where you are looking but something will change, I truly believe this exam maybe holding you back from that state teaching job, but it may also be setting you up for something else better than what you have your sights on. That is all I have. XX

  • Joy

    One of the big issues is that lots of people get a degree in Business Management thinking it’s their pathway to management at a company. Now days zillions of people have Business Management degrees, and companies only need so many managers. A young lady that works at a LARGE department store told me she was told that she needed a college degree to work there. And I was thinking for what(?) When was the last time that any one needed a degree to sell cosmetics, or the latest fashions (or to even manage people in those departments). People need to think wisely when spending money on certain degrees. At one time it was special to have a college degree,i.e., doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc.Now days everybody, and their momma (literally) has a degree

  • Mademoiselle

    Big cosign from me!!! Assistantships, fellowships, and tuition reimbursement plans are the way to go! Money is out there for all levels of education if you look hard enough for it.

  • Mademoiselle

    Wow, this thread reminds me of this article: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/11/girl-talk-things-i-learned-on-unemployment/

    It’s easy to be on the privileged side of the fence and blame the underprivileged for their own misery. K, I don’t know what you’ve been through, but I hope this doesn’t discourage you from continuing to dream big. If money isn’t a problem, I’d encourage you to keep trying to master this last leg of the race. Otherwise, hopefully you’re coming up with some alternative plans that won’t make everything you’ve attained so far a total waste. Good luck with everything.

  • Mademoiselle

    I’ll argue that who you know is still the easiest way to get from point a to point b. Many people believe that a master’s isn’t so much paying to learn more, but paying to build your network.

  • Rakel

    Thx Kam. I’m doing both.

  • LeAnna

    Thank you! People need to find ways to pay for their Master’s! I just graduated in December from the University of Tennessee with my Master’s Degree. Yes, I am currently seeking employment, but my assistantship paid my out-of-state tuition (from Atlanta, GA) and I am working for them (full-time) until I make the next move in my career. Assistantships and Fellowships are out there!

    For anyone wanting to work a year with Education Pioneers, (You don’t have to be in education, but just want that experience. Must have two years full-time job experience and a Master’s Degree), they are paying 50K-70K.

    Plenty of ways to pay for school, but sometimes we need to just step out on faith. That’s what I did anyway! Be Blessed!!

  • kamille

    It really depends on what you major in and connections. I’m currently in undergrad at a private lib arts school, and our alumnae network is vast! It really just depends. Also, the connections you make doing a variety of internships and programs. I don’t know the struggles of someone with an MBA. But for my specific major, I’m flexible enough to do a lot of things-research, NGOs, diplomat, etc.

    As it stands now, I’m not sure I’m going to graduate school right away. I have to figure out what I want to do. But in my time off, I’m definitely looking at Fullbrights, PeaceCorp, Teach for America, and other fellowships through my school.

  • chanela17

    annddd exhibit A shows you that no matter how many damn masters or doctorates you have, you totally fail when you can’t tell the difference between waist and waste. SMH

  • Tiffany

    I’m applying for a masters in public health now. My undergraduate career taught me that a degree means nothing if you don’t do the leg work along with it. My boyfriend has started a career in marketing and sales with a journalism degree all because of his ability to sell himself. I’m going into my masters with goals set forth to be involved in campus research, to volunteer, and to really network.

  • http://alishawritinglife.wordpress.com Alisha

    Worth the life lessons it taught me? Yes, those were invaluable and priceless. I sometimes think it was a waste monetarily, but I’ve been able to teach adjunct collegiate classes for extra income, and I couldn’t have done that without my M.A. It’s a fair exchange.

  • dtafakari

    I want to shout from the rafters to high school students and undergrads to count the cost before they go to grad school. I loved being in grad school to get an MA in English. But I learned that the grind-work does not stop once you graduate; you have to grind and WORK to make the degree work for you! Otherwise, it WILL be worthless, you WILL be bitter, and broke, too, if you weren’t smart. Thankfully, I only used $3,500 in student loans, so Sallie is not a factor. I only wish someone had told my 22-year-old self that a Master’s degree was not a golden ticket to great gainful employment.

  • Alfalfa

    I’m in a field where a Master’s degree isn’t a reality – it’s pretty much PhD or bust, and my PhD will be paid for by my school, plus a stipend – so I’m neutral. But I thought everyone knew that an MBA is something you need to have your employer paying for. My university has the #3 business school in the US, and almost every student there has taken a few years off to work, or got noticed during an internship, so they have either a company paying for the degree or a multi-year contract for a high-paying job immediately afterwards. The few exceptions are usually trust fund students. The #1 or 2 business school is up the street and it’s the same case there.

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