Author Topic: Master's Debate  (Read 10686 times)

Ozstache

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Master's Debate
« on: October 23, 2013, 03:47:01 AM »
No, not what you're thinking ;-)

I am now in my third week of ER and am enjoying it immensely. As a (very generous) departing gesture, my former employer has offered to pay for a Master's degree in Project Management to give me a qualification commensurate with the level of experience I gained while under their employ. The course is mostly distance mode delivery and much of the material I am familiar with, so I am not expecting the course to ground me or to take up too much of my time. I am debating as to whether to go ahead with it or not.

On the against side, it is not as though I really need such a qualification if I am not seeking employment any time soon, so the frugal voice in my head says don't waste my employer's money on something I don't need. Also, while my employer is paying for the course fees (over $20K!), I am up for all the texts. This will likely cost me around $2K, which is comes out of my stache. Finally, I do have bitsa qualifications (associate diploma in electronics, part bachelor's degree in IT, graduate diploma in management, certified project manager, etc), which potential employers tell me is sufficient when coupled with my experience, for the next year at most however.

On the for side, I have spent most of my adult life kicking my own butt for not going to uni (college) when I was young, even though it hasn't really impacted me in my career progression to date. This course would satisfy my lifelong desire to have such a qualification, for which I do not deny that there is a bit of vanity involved. Then there's the 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth' whereby this is a fantastic opportunity to get an academic qualification that could open other academic doors should I choose to further my education in other fields. Finally, being offered this course will keep myself current in my profession for another year, which seems like a good back up plan should ER not pan out as I expected, either financially or mentally. A positive side effect of this is that some of my doubting family members now think that by doing the course I haven't just "given up" on society and gone feral on them.

At this stage, I am erring on the side of doing the course anyway and making my electives as broad as possible such that it opens the door for further academic study as mentioned before.

Any thoughts on what else I should consider?

nktokyo

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 03:53:07 AM »
I think absolutely you should do it, if only for the personal satisfaction angle.
I once studied like a MOFO for several months for a Japanese test JUST to say I'd done it. It felt great afterwards.

davisgang90

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 03:55:05 AM »
I would do it.  A virtually free masters which could provide you an easy consulting gig in the future.  Seems like a no-brainer!

Rural

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 07:21:04 AM »
I would do it. It looks to me like a nearly free ER insurance policy that also fulfills a lifelong dream while not tying you down much at all. What's not to love about that?

Rebecca Stapler

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 07:59:31 AM »
I would do it.  A virtually free masters which could provide you an easy consulting gig in the future.  Seems like a no-brainer!

This is a really good point. If you want to do it, then go for it. As for the costs that you will have to personally pay for, I would try to find a way to lower them by buying used books, using a rewards cc or bookstore rewards program, or going through ebates if you're buying them online, etc. -- whatever you can do to lower your personal costs.

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 08:01:57 AM »
I am still 10 years away from FI, but I am already mulling over getting a Ph.D when I retire. My dream since high school was to get a Ph.D and become a professor, but during my M.S. program, I realized that I could do just as well in private industry in my field with just an M.S. - plus, the school was becoming drudgery by that point - so I wrote it off. But I think that earning a Ph.D, with no obligation to henceforth use that Ph.D, could be immensely satisfying. So needless to say, in your situation, I would go for it!

MissStache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 08:06:10 AM »
Heck yes!  One of my FI plans is to be near enough to an institute of higher education so I can continue learning.  Sounds like a great way to keep your mind sharp!

And kudos to your former employer for that awesome parting gift!

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 10:09:15 AM »
Go for the Degree. It keeps your mind active and I think your former employer would really feel warm and fuzzy when you graduate. Plus it will get you out and about while attending classes. I also think it will solidify your credentials for consulting on side hustles in the future.

Spork

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2013, 10:37:30 AM »

This really has more to do with "personal taste" than anything.  IF you're really ER... and don't plan on going back to work sometime soon, I am not sure what this will get you beyond personal satisfaction.  (Not that there's anything wrong with personal satisfaction.)

There are loads of people out there that love schooling.  If you're one of them: it's probably worth it.

I am not one of those people.  I went.  I got my degree.  I just don't have the slightest desire to go back.  I'd much rather learn a trade or something similar than go back to school -- but -- that's me, not you.

jrhampt

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 10:49:56 AM »
Not much of a debate so far!  That's a great benefit to be able to take advantage of, especially since it's something you've always wanted to do.  I think it would be a good fall-back plan and provide some structure to your time off (if you are in search of any).  However, I can also see Spork's point...having done two master's degrees myself, it can get kind of painful toward the end, and it is a time suck, so don't underestimate that.  But grad school is also much more fun when you're not working at the same time. 

Noodle

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2013, 11:22:40 AM »
The costs you would be paying (books for instance) are not all paid up front. Why not try it for a semester, and if it's not for you, the amount of sunk costs will not be all that high if you decide not to continue. Unless there would be some kind of social cost from dropping out, like a bad relationship with your former employer.

totoro

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2013, 11:43:07 AM »
"This course would satisfy my lifelong desire to have such a qualification, for which I do not deny that there is a bit of vanity involved."

Sounds like you should do it.

If it were me I would absolutely not do it. Why not?  I have no lifelong desire for higher education - been there and done it.   

Now it is all about cost (effort)/benefit (meaning) for me and I account for my time. 

In order to do this type of schooling I would not only have to have tuition paid for, I would need to be paid for my time.  In your shoes, given that you don't need to be paid for your time in future, and your current level of education and experience makes you employable if you need to work, the cost/benefit to the time invested doesn't work imo unless you add in the satisfying a lifelong desire bit which shifts everything over to "worth it".

 

DoubleDown

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 11:47:42 AM »
Why not try it for a semester...

+1

I say enroll in the first semester, then play it by ear to see if it's something you want to continue. There's absolutely no shame in deciding you don't want to continue, if that's what you end up concluding. And if you end up enjoying it, great. Congratulations and good luck!

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 05:02:15 PM »
These are all great comments, thanks. Looks like overwhelming support to do the course, or at least the first semester as a suck it and see, and save some dollars by buying texts second hand or through cheaper sources where possible.

One other advantage I didn't mention is that because the course relates directly to my recent line of work that all texts are tax deductible as a self education expense, reducing my costs by a further 40% because of the high tax bracket I am in this year because of my 5 months long service leave being paid out to me on termination. I can also on-sell the books when I'm finished, which could make the course cost neutral.

happy

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 07:15:55 PM »
If you had gone to Uni when you were young, it probably would have been free ie the taxpayer would have paid for it. So after serving your country for several decades, I think you ought not be concerned about the taxpayer funding your Master's degree.

I have just finished a Master's degree, just because I always wanted to study those areas. I loved studying. If you think you will enjoy it, just do it.

SwordGuy

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 07:26:44 PM »
Go for it!  You'll make new friends, you'll learn new stuff.  You'll also be aggravated but that can be it's own amusement.:)

As for the 2k cost for books, if that small an amount has you worried, you retired too early.  In which case, you should most definitely do it.




nktokyo

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2013, 05:05:46 AM »
Don't forget to report back here on how fun it is to hang out with the youth of today

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 06:00:45 PM »
Alright, alright. Y'all talked me in to doing the course. Thanks for the support!

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2014, 09:38:43 PM »
Just over a year to the day since my last post on this and I am very happy to report that my final marks for the subject Master's course came in today and I have passed it with flying colours!

Thanks to all who encouraged me to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Exflyboy

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2014, 10:48:35 PM »
Nice Job!

I am surrounded by Phd friends who mock my "mere Master's".. all in good fun of course, but I still dream of having "Dr" in front of my name..:)

Pure unadulterated ego on my part, which is probably not a good enough reason to do it..:)

Frank

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2014, 07:04:05 AM »
No comment of value, I'm just here for the master debators jokes . . .

libertarian4321

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2014, 02:11:55 AM »
No, not what you're thinking ;-)

I am now in my third week of ER and am enjoying it immensely. As a (very generous) departing gesture, my former employer has offered to pay for a Master's degree in Project Management to give me a qualification commensurate with the level of experience I gained while under their employ. The course is mostly distance mode delivery and much of the material I am familiar with, so I am not expecting the course to ground me or to take up too much of my time. I am debating as to whether to go ahead with it or not.

On the against side, it is not as though I really need such a qualification if I am not seeking employment any time soon, so the frugal voice in my head says don't waste my employer's money on something I don't need. Also, while my employer is paying for the course fees (over $20K!), I am up for all the texts. This will likely cost me around $2K, which is comes out of my stache.

First thought.  Someone is going to allow you to pursue a Master's degree when you don't have a BA or BS?  Really?

Second thought.  Why bother UNLESS "project management" is something that really excites you (is that actually possible?).  Even if totally free, why get a certification late in life when you are already retired and presumably never going to use it?  A degree in "project management" sounds like nothing more than a dull grind for a mid-level corporate type to use to advance his career.

If you love history, and your employer offers a chance to get a degree in history, then maybe it would be okay to do "just for fun." 

But why get a degree in lame, tedious field like "project management" (er, I'm assuming no one other than an android would have a "passion" for "project management") if you aren't going to use it for work?

So no, being ER, I would not get a "ticket punching" corporate drudge-like degree/certification like project management.  If the employer allows you to get a degree in something you enjoy (history, art, music, etc) or something you might find useful (e.g. and MBA or similar that might help with personal investing, etc), go for it.

I think I'd sooner repeatedly slam my head into a brick wall than pick up a degree in "Project management."

This said as someone who spent decades as a project manager (without the degree).

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2014, 02:44:12 AM »
No, not what you're thinking ;-)

I am now in my third week of ER and am enjoying it immensely. As a (very generous) departing gesture, my former employer has offered to pay for a Master's degree in Project Management to give me a qualification commensurate with the level of experience I gained while under their employ. The course is mostly distance mode delivery and much of the material I am familiar with, so I am not expecting the course to ground me or to take up too much of my time. I am debating as to whether to go ahead with it or not.

On the against side, it is not as though I really need such a qualification if I am not seeking employment any time soon, so the frugal voice in my head says don't waste my employer's money on something I don't need. Also, while my employer is paying for the course fees (over $20K!), I am up for all the texts. This will likely cost me around $2K, which is comes out of my stache.

First thought.  Someone is going to allow you to pursue a Master's degree when you don't have a BA or BS?  Really?

Second thought.  Why bother UNLESS "project management" is something that really excites you (is that actually possible?).  Even if totally free, why get a certification late in life when you are already retired and presumably never going to use it?  A degree in "project management" sounds like nothing more than a dull grind for a mid-level corporate type to use to advance his career.

If you love history, and your employer offers a chance to get a degree in history, then maybe it would be okay to do "just for fun." 

But why get a degree in lame, tedious field like "project management" (er, I'm assuming no one other than an android would have a "passion" for "project management") if you aren't going to use it for work?

So no, being ER, I would not get a "ticket punching" corporate drudge-like degree/certification like project management.  If the employer allows you to get a degree in something you enjoy (history, art, music, etc) or something you might find useful (e.g. and MBA or similar that might help with personal investing, etc), go for it.

I think I'd sooner repeatedly slam my head into a brick wall than pick up a degree in "Project management."

This said as someone who spent decades as a project manager (without the degree).

LOL. I take it you don't think much of project management? ;)

Nonetheless, the deed is already done. I have my Master's and yes they let a dumb bloke like me, with no undergraduate degree, do it (finished with a distinction average I might add). And from my employer's perspective, it was either a project management Master's or nothing.

Re the use of the course itself, yes I didn't get much out of the core degree itself but I did get a lot out the non-PM electives I chose. The best thing I gained was the depth I was required to thoroughly research, argue, reference and conclude a topic of interest. While I may not use this specifically for project management, it has broad applicability to anything I wish to research in future. As such, I do not consider it to be a waste of time at all.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 02:47:25 AM by Ozstache »

Minion

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2015, 10:18:09 PM »
Just curious which uni you went to for this course - Charles Sturt?

innerscorecard

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2015, 11:03:26 PM »
I can't believe an employer would be this generous to give you a gift with no expectation of anything in return.

happy

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2015, 02:39:31 AM »
I can't believe an employer would be this generous to give you a gift with no expectation of anything in return.

Ozstache might have done a thing or two for his country in his time.

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2015, 02:47:59 AM »
Just curious which uni you went to for this course - Charles Sturt?
UNSW

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2015, 02:59:59 AM »
I can't believe an employer would be this generous to give you a gift with no expectation of anything in return.

Ozstache might have done a thing or two for his country in his time.

Thanks for the support happy!

innerscorecard, yes it is very generous but there is method in their madness. Firstly, they promise it as an incentive to recruit and they are just paying back on that promise. Secondly, most lifers like me end up working back in the organisation in some capacity, so their view is that such outgoing education serves that continuum of employment with them. While I am not planning on returning to this organisation any time soon, it is comforting to know from a contingency perspective that they will welcome me back in some form.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2015, 06:33:26 AM »
I'd do it.  The main reason I wanted to get a Master's degree was because I wanted one. 
It's not nearly the commitment that working on a PhD is.

DecD

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2015, 06:40:24 AM »
Congratulations!! 

I bet you're glad you made the decision to go for it.  Was it worth the work/effort?

James

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2015, 07:06:47 AM »
I can't believe an employer would be this generous to give you a gift with no expectation of anything in return.

Ozstache might have done a thing or two for his country in his time.

Thanks for the support happy!

innerscorecard, yes it is very generous but there is method in their madness. Firstly, they promise it as an incentive to recruit and they are just paying back on that promise. Secondly, most lifers like me end up working back in the organisation in some capacity, so their view is that such outgoing education serves that continuum of employment with them. While I am not planning on returning to this organisation any time soon, it is comforting to know from a contingency perspective that they will welcome me back in some form.


That is an impressive organization, I am sure that sort of effort on behalf of their employees, even past employees, doesn't go unnoticed.


Congrats on the degree!

Ozstache

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2015, 12:55:04 PM »
Congratulations!! 

I bet you're glad you made the decision to go for it.  Was it worth the work/effort?

Further to what I mention earlier, the study was a great way for me to transition from work to retirement as it kept me busy doing something I was familiar with at home instead of the work place. I was actually still a bit worried when I finished studying late last year about 'what would I do with all that time now available' but I quickly found ways to keep myself entertained to the point where I am quite certain now that RE is the future life for me.

Minion

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2015, 06:46:50 PM »
Just curious which uni you went to for this course - Charles Sturt?
UNSW

Much better :)

MBot

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2015, 08:46:02 PM »
Just over a year to the day since my last post on this and I am very happy to report that my final marks for the subject Master's course came in today and I have passed it with flying colours!

Thanks to all who encouraged me to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Amazing! Congrats.

Rural

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Re: Master's Debate
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2015, 05:24:42 AM »
Congratulations!