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Topic: Career/Training

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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.

Masters Degree: Does It Pay Off?

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points
I graduated in 2010 with a BA in Marketing, emphaisis on Integrated Marketing Communications, I currently work as a Marketing/ Advertising assistant for a newspapaper, which was perfect for me after graduating but it is far from my dream job.

Im thinking of getting my masters, but I wonder if it is worth it considering the current economy. I heard is harder to get a job if you have a masters. Thanks for taking the time to give some feedback.

  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Only YOU can answer this question. However, consider the following points:

    1. calculate time and effort spent on the proposed studies.

    2. cost to acquire the qualification in terms of fiscal investment.

    3. time required to pay off student debts and loans (weighed against other expenses).

    4. projected income and disposable income as a result
    of having the qualification (and of not having it).

    5. degree of effort required to attain the qualification.

    6. weight of quality of life with it or without it.

    Then ask yourself where you plan on being 5
    years from now, with or without the aforementioned qualification, AND how employable it will make you
    as opposed to you working on your own to create your own buzz.

    Having a Masters is nice (I'm sure), but given, in many cases, the standard of questions asked on this forum by masters students, its long term value to an employer is (in real terms, and in my opinion) is questionable.

    What will you do with this piece of paper? For whom will you earn it? Why? To what ends? Id the view REALLY worth the climb?

    This last point may not win me many friends in higher education ... but tough: if you choose to buy, read, re-read, and take notes on the top 25 marketing books available from you'll probably learn more and be able to apply as much as—if not more than in terms of real applicable business skill—than the typical business post-grad MBA marketing student.

    And it won't take you 2 years, nor will it cost you the thick
    end of $100,000.

    But again, the choice must be yours: it's your career, not mine. Think of just how you'll apply your new credentials,
    if you choose to pursue them, and of the value you'll offer
    to a potential employer 2 years or so hence.
  • Posted by Moriarty on Accepted
    This will be a little less objective as an approach.

    Firstly, whatever you do, get some experience. It is not hard to run a very small scale marketing operation on the internet whilst studying. Indeed if it goes well, you can scale it up for holiday times and roll it back down when you don't have time for it. The skills you gain will be invaluable. It will also give you a perspective on your studies.

    I am guessing it is going to cost you to study. You don't live in Germany where tuition is free. The other point is that universities don't teach much outside of what can be written down. Copywriting skills are notoriously hard to analyze, and to be honest, marketing skills are too. The concept of the USP is hard enough to describe - and the finer points of applying it are so counter intuitive that I can easily see how a professor would miss them entirely. I should know, my father was a professor and arguing with him was not easy since he did not allow his assumptions to be challenged. At its core, marketing is all about challenging the accepted understanding of how things are done.

    If you decide to carry on, make sure you get experience at the same time. My advice would be to get into a job, and agree with them to take a masters when you are senior enough that they deem it worthwhile.

    Whatever you choose, I wish you success! Gemma xxx
  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    Apols I have seen you have gotten some form of work - I have only just landed from a long train trip from Germany. Dream job or not, even ordinary jobs are not easy to come by. Your experience will count for more than a certification in my reckoning.

    But then, who am I to talk? I have never had a job for which I was qualified, and some of them were real dream jobs too!
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    As Gary rightly points out, only you can make this decision. What I would contribute is that an MBA from a respected university will open a different set of doors for you in the marketing world.

    The "other world" is not necessarily better (for you), but it is clearly a different world and requires a different mindset. People (including prospective employers) will look at you and treat you differently.

    And if you get the job you really want because you have the right qualifications (including the MBA), you'll believe the investment has paid off ... whether the actual ROI is large or small.

    And if you never take a shot at the "other world," you'll never know if you made the right decision for yourself or not.

    It's not an easy decision, and there is no right answer for everyone. I just wanted to offer an observation that might give you a different perspective on the decision you're facing.

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