After a few years of working as a young professional, it may be an opportune time for you to develop yourself and start thinking about pursuing a Masters degree. To get the maximum benefits of going for further education, you need to select the program that fits your needs, circumstances, and most importantly, your professional goals. Here are important guidelines you may follow in choosing the best Masters degree for you:
- Identify your career goals.
First, you have to determine what you want to achieve in your profession or career. You may ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to take the academe route and are considering to become a lecturer or professor?
- Do you want to build your own business or company?
- Or are you vying for a promotion in the company you’re currently at?
These questions are the first things that you need to ask yourself when considering a Masters degree. The huge contrast between the academe and the industry means that you’ll have to decide early on which path you’d like to take before enrolling in any program.
- Based on your career goals, pinpoint the specific Masters degree program that will help you achieve your goals.
Upon deciding which type of degree you’re looking at based on your career goals, it’s time to choose which type of program you’d like to undertake. Survey a variety of programs and determine the course that will match your personal objectives.
If you’d like to have a deeper understanding of the field you’re already in, a Master of Science or Arts degree at New England College will give you more knowledge and research experience. These degrees are useful for people who want to pursue a career in the academe or research fields, where they can apply the knowledge and research skills acquired in the MS or MA programs.
If you want to climb the corporate ladder in any industry, taking a Master of Management course may be wise as this will give you the necessary skills and knowledge in managing departments and corporations. Employees who are strong and confident in their respective fields may benefit from a management degree to supplement their scientific knowledge with skills in managing a team or department.
- Consult a mentor.
Find a person of the same profession that you look up to or who works in the same company as you do. Ask for an honest evaluation of your skills and performance, and get feedback on how you can become a better professional. Consult as well regarding possible Masters programs that you can enroll in.
Having someone who’s more experienced guide you through the process of pursuing further studies will be greatly beneficial in many ways. First, a mentor’s insight on what steps you should take will be valuable, as your mentor is already successful in their own career.
Second, your mentor would have an idea on your current standing as a professional in your field. They will be in a position to tell you if you’re on the right track to get to what you’re aiming for professionally, and advise you on what to do in order to stay focused on your goals.
- Evaluate your current work schedule and identify how much time you can allot for pursuing a Masters degree.
This would all depend on your current situation and on your goals. If you’re currently working as an industry professional, be sure that the program you’ll be taking will not hinder you from satisfying your current job functions.
Remember that you’re taking further studies to elevate your professional career. You wouldn’t want anything to negatively affect your job performance. Many Masters programs offer flexible schedules, which take into account the busy lives of full-time professionals.
Before enrolling, check on how much time you’ll be needing to complete a program. There are courses that take about two years or less to accomplish. You don’t want to enroll in a course that might potentially drag on for years. Moreover, choose a program with a flexible and continuous enrollment schedule.
- Research on universities with the available programs that you want.
Aside from degree options and scheduling constraints, the actual university you select plays a major role in your development. The reputation of the university you choose and its industry affiliations may affect your career after you finish your degree. Moreover, you’d have to consider the school’s location in order to determine its feasibility regarding your current work and home situation. Check if the university you want to enroll in has options for online courses that you can complete conveniently.
- Scrutinize the curriculum.
If possible, study the potential curriculum that you’d be taking and consult graduates of the same degree. Doing so will give you an idea of how fitting it would be to your current situation, as well as your vision for your career advancement.
In this day and age, together with the available technology, work and studies can happen at the same time. The key is really in selecting the right Masters degree with the best courses and schedule to help you achieve your professional goals. Set a few specific career goals, and use these to help you narrow down your options when you’re ready to go for further studies.