There are misconceptions and ambiguity surrounding the daunting idea of entering into further education. What will it entail and who is it for? What are the benefits and requirements of studying a Master’s? What kind of Master’s can you do? Will you be able to continue working while you study? What are the advantages and disadvantages of remote learning? These are just a few of the FAQs people need to ask before taking on this stimulating and rewarding challenge.
Who can do a Master’s?
If you have already achieved the impressive milestone of an undergraduate degree, why stop there? A Master’s degree can mean specializing in what you are really interested in. This gives you the opportunity to develop your full potential. Depending on the college and the type of field you want to work in, you normally don’t need to do exactly the same subject you majored in. Once you have an undergraduate degree, it will be possible to change subjects and find the area you want to work in. The decision of what to study for your Master’s shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it will cost you money and hard work, and will hopefully lead to specified work in the same field.
What if you don’t have a degree? Don’t worry if you haven’t been to college. There are equivalent qualifications. Consider your work experience and training courses. Often a certain level position or a significant amount of experience can carry the same weight as a university degree.
Do you have what it takes? Doing a Master’s requires certain personal skills. Self-discipline is key. You have to think carefully if you’re ready to take on a year’s worth of hard work. It is a huge commitment, but you will greatly be rewarded for your effort. You need to have good time management skills. It’s easy to let work get on top of you so it’s better to be organised and split tasks into manageable chunks. There are techniques to help you with this though. Dedication and commitment will be compensated and recognized by your future employer and you can expect to gain a number of skills.
Does age matter? It’s actually fairly common to do a Master’s a bit later in life, or middle-aged. Many people decide what they want to do after trying out different fields and to be honest, this is the best way to get an understanding of the world of work. Studies and testimonies have also shown that mature students are much more focussed and inspired. This is because it can be difficult to choose what you want to do straight out of high school. Don’t be afraid of going back to studying. This can be daunting and you may feel rusty, but it will prove to your future employer that you are able to work outside of your comfort zone, and have the courage to take on completely new challenges. If you have a family it is also a possibility in order to get back into your career. You can opt for studying remotely if you’re a stay-at-home parents. You can work while your children are at school, and then continue to manage your family life. This will be inspiring to them and hopefully persuade them to be as dedicated in their future careers.
What can you expect from your course?
Further education allows you to delve deeper into your chosen subject. Be prepared to do your own research. You will be carrying out more advanced research than you undertook in your undergraduate degree, but you will have all the assistance and resources to help you with it. You will have the satisfaction of designing a more personal project and you will have the opportunity to study something you are specifically passionate about. You need to develop your analytical skills. At a post-graduate level it’s important to be critical and engage with other scholars, peers and teachers. You will build a lot of confidence in academic debate and asserting your opinion and backing it up with your findings and results. This is an excellent skill to take to your future employer.
You will also develop a great deal of personal recognition, you will surpass your ideas of what you thought you were capable of and really prove yourself. You will become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses and this is a positive thing. It will almost be like building a new identity for yourself and you will gain a lot of independence and self-worth.
Costs can vary from different schools and student finance will often be available. Your future earnings will eventually compensate this considerably, however.
Is eLearning a better solution nowadays?
This is a good idea if you’re choosing to carry on working. If you opt for studying remotely you will have more flexibility. You can plan your course around your job. This experience will also be recognized by your future employer, as it shows excellent organisation and time management skills. Your current employer will also generally give you more flexibility at work as having employees with higher qualifications will definitely be beneficial to the company.
Aside from being able to plan your own timetable, you will be able to study on your own terms. You will of course still have all the help from tutors, online peers and forums, but some people prefer to take a more independent approach to the course.
If however, you prefer to attend lectures and seminars in real life, maybe an in-house course would be better for you, but be sure to think carefully about this as you will still have to consider your job and living situation. Is there a college which fulfills your course requirements close to where you live?
When choosing a college it’s useful to go by the subject first as certain places are more specialised in particular fields. If you are considering further education in the healthcare profession for example consider Regis College for a tailored and prestigious course online.