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Once graduating college would your say it is more important to start working right away if you someday want to get a masters degree or just go back to school right after your undergrad and why?

Trying to decide whether or not to pursue my masters degree #college #career-paths #degree #masters

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Kendall Paige’s Answer

Aloha, Blake.

Great question! I was in a very similar predicament to yours when I was in my collegiate years.

I'm a lifelong learner, so I knew I wanted to earn my bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees from the time I was in high school. I haven't earned my doctorate YET, but I've been very fortunate to earn my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2004 and my MBA in 2011. I'm a firm believer that your education can never be taken away from you. It is an investment in yourself, not only professionally, but personally too. And that is regardless of WHEN you complete your education - some are fortunate enough to do so when they're young, for others, it can take decades. The pride & satisfaction comes from committing yourself to your education and earning your degrees, no matter what stage of life that it's in.

Based on my personal experience, I do believe I have an even greater appreciation for my MBA having had a gap of six years from the time I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in 2004 before beginning my MBA in 2010. During those six years is when I really began my professional career, especially in a leadership capacity. By the time I started my MBA in 2010, I had some real world experience to draw upon which made me value & appreciate my masters program that much more. Not to mention the networking opportunity with my fellow students, our professors, and administrative staff. I'm sure the same will apply when the time is right in my life to go for my doctorate degree, because that is still on my bucket list! By that time, I'll have decades of professional experience to draw upon. :)

Best of luck to you whichever path you choose!

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Surekha’s Answer

HI Blake,

Great question! I'd say it really depends on the field. I know several MBA programs encourage (and may even require) some years of work experience to get the most out of the program. On the other hand, I have friends in Engineering that completed their master's right after undergrad and this approach suited them better when finding a permanent role. If you work first, some companies will sponsor part/ all of the tuition fees, so that is another factor to consider.

All the best in whatever you decide!

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Simeon’s Answer

It'll depend on what your plans are. Masters degrees are different in purpose depending on which one you're getting. If you're getting an MBA, generally it's being used as a way to go up the chain of management and companies will often assist you in getting it. If you're in a field like accounting or psychology, you'll probably want to do the master's right away. For the degrees where you should get the degree right away, they often have undergrad and master's combo degrees so you can do both all at once.

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Frank’s Answer

Such a great question! I'd recommend going for a Masters degree right away if you can do it financially and time-wise. It will typically take two years, but will have a lifetime of benefit, so doing it sooner than later is the easiest approach. If, however, you have student loans to pay off or require income to live on, then you'll have to consider starting your career and going back to school for grad work as you can fit it in. In practice, however, you'll probably end up doing a little of both (that's what happened with me). I worked full-time and went to early morning classes for grad studies two days a week. Later, that proved too tough on my school work, so with my employer's consideration, I switched to more school focus and less work hours. Basically, be flexible, and do what you have to do to make it work! And regarding loans, try to stay as free from them as possible - or at least accept them cautiously. They become a big burden on students to pay off after leaving school, so you want to be sure they don't entirely tie up your finances for the decade or so after you've finished school! Look for scholarships, schools that cost less, grants, gifts, a family student savings account, a part-time job, or whatever you can do to stay "low debt" or "debt free".