#1 Posted by deadmoscow (262 posts) -

What up duders.

So, I got myself a bachelor's degree in English about two years ago. As some of you might know, liberal arts degrees aren't exactly golden tickets into the wide world of gainful employment. For about a year, I bounced between three jobs I utterly despised (wal-mart photo studio, standardized test grader, warehouse cherry picker), until finally settling on an old standby from college - pizza delivery. A few months later, I landed a job in a library, since I had worked at my campus library my last two years in college. One year later I absolutely hate delivering pizza - working for tips is an injustice nobody should have to go through. However, I realized that I loved my library job, and decided to go further with it. About a week ago, I was accepted to the master's degree program at the IUPUI school of library and information science. Booyah! I'm getting my MLS, and planning on tacking on a focus in library technology management.

So here I am, registered for my two preliminary courses and ready to quit my delivery job for good. I was just curious - are there any of you out there with master's degrees or beyond, or currently enrolled in grad school? What should I expect of the life of a grad student? How completely broke am I going to be for the next two to three years? I imagine your experience can vary wildly from discipline to discipline, but any advice or just stories would be appreciated.

#2 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

Not much advice to give, but I am about to enter a masters program in philosophy. Just came in to say I know that feel and we're all counting on you.

#3 Posted by Veektarius (4817 posts) -

I have a masters. Worked on a PhD for awhile that I didn't get. Masters degrees can vary a great deal. Some are just cash cows for schools - you'll go to a lecture and do homework just like a college course and the only difference is it's a bit harder and the classes are smaller. Other programs are very oriented toward getting you prepared for the real world of the career you're entering. I'm guessing that library science is one of those. However, be warned, it's not an easy line of work to get into, based on what I hear.

#4 Posted by amir90 (2156 posts) -

I really want to get a master´s degree in History, but to get in, you need at least C average on your history grades, It is not that I am lousy student, I am just a lousy test taker.
Also, history is the worst subject to take to become a teacher, so I am quitting and doing something else that is going to give me a job in the future, like teacher school.

#5 Edited by gamefreak9 (2359 posts) -

Masters in Economics and Finance... In my class of Dynamic optimization I have... 20 PHD theoretical physicists, a dozen mathematicians, and like 20 other people doing my program. I dno if that rings bells with anyone but sciency masters programs are VERY quantitative.

edit: If you were going for one of these, I would recommend you take a look at yourself to evaluate your ability or way of thinking. Since in these kind of programs, hard work just doesn't cut it, some people are in the library studying for it for maybe 10 hours straight and can't seem to click with the material. I dno how they will do on the test, since they can memorize quite abit of the content, but its kind of a waste if you can't apply it. However since you will probably do a non-quant program I am sure this doesn't apply and hard work can go a long way, just be ready to put it in, don't like go to lectures and then return home to play video games. You gotta dedicate the right amount of time.

#6 Posted by Vinny_Says (5706 posts) -

@Penzilneck said:

Not much advice to give, but I am about to enter a masters program in philosophy. Just came in to say I know that feel and we're all counting on you.

#7 Posted by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -

I find it funny that higher education gets you a job delivering pizza so the solution is to go for more education, I guess if you love the library, go for it.

Online
#8 Posted by Penzilneck (423 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

@Penzilneck said:

Not much advice to give, but I am about to enter a masters program in philosophy. Just came in to say I know that feel and we're all counting on you.

Oh, Vinny. You crack me up. Touché.

#9 Posted by JasonR86 (9697 posts) -

I've got three more months until I earn my masters in clinical psychology. I can't wait. I also have so much fucking debt that I don't even want to think about it. If I just pretend that I don't have debt it'll disappear right?

#10 Posted by packs217 (93 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

I find it funny that higher education gets you a job delivering pizza so the solution is to go for more education, I guess if you love the library, go for it.

Your post should say "...a degree in English gets you a job delivering pizza..."

As for being broke, it really depends on your financial situation for the school. I was broke through college, but only because I was paying cash each quarter with no grants, scholarships, or financial aid at a relatively expensive University of Washington. I just worked the whole time and would've been fine financially had I not been throwing down $4k every three months.

The way I measure a Masters program is whether or not it's going to pay itself back. Where do you want to be professionally/career-wise at the end of your program? Can you get there without going through the program (ie. going back to the library and working your way up)?

I've seen too many people either put-on-hold or leave their line of work to pursue a Masters that yielded results they could've achieved easily had they just never left. The difference was they had nearly $50k in debt.

All that said, if you're confident it's what you want/what's best-- go for it!

#11 Posted by deadmoscow (262 posts) -

@packs217 said:

The way I measure a Masters program is whether or not it's going to pay itself back. Where do you want to be professionally/career-wise at the end of your program? Can you get there without going through the program (ie. going back to the library and working your way up)?

I've seen too many people either put-on-hold or leave their line of work to pursue a Masters that yielded results they could've achieved easily had they just never left. The difference was they had nearly $50k in debt.

All that said, if you're confident it's what you want/what's best-- go for it!

There's the thing - I've been working in libraries for almost 3 years now, and after making multiple attempts at moving up the ladder, I realized I can't do the kind of things I want to do without getting my MLS. Luckily, my degree is going to be quite cheap, such that I won't be generating much more than 20k in student loan debt.