I did a piece the other day regarding the timing of a Master’s degree. Here I’ve decided to share a bit more about the next step: once you’ve decided to do one.
So you’ve decided now is the time to study a masters degree. That’s great, but what do you need to consider when choosing where, what and how to study? Over the years I have seen great examples of people who chose the right master’s and people who chose the wrong one. Let me share some of things that those who chose the right one had in common when choosing.
The Ranking Trap:
Many of my clients google the top-10 list of universities and set their sights on any one of the 10. No doubt studying at a top-10 school will give you a great image and equip you with a first-class education. However, consider the following: top-10 universities are hard to get into (you’re competing against the world’s best), they are often very expensive, and not all of them will offer the course you want to study that links to what you actually do. To give you some perspective, I know people with 740+ on GMAT who still failed to get into the top business schools. It’s hard.
Universities are not all the same, so finding a culture fit is important. Some universities suit people used to formal, academic study, which promotes more traditional study and research. Other universities are more suited to a more millennial approach, focusing on creativity, design thinking and entrepreneurship. Smart candidates make the effort to find the university that has the culture they will prosper in.
Masters can vary greatly in cost. Considering your earning potential after a masters can help you choose which university or program to study. While it is not impossible for someone in education or social work to pay off a 150,000 USD loan, it’s far easier for someone in banking, consulting or financial services to do so. A premium, expensive university is definitely a good investment, but only if you have the drive to make that investment pay off later.
Study abroad is always going to be a great option. Great options exist in the USA, the UK, Europe, Australia and more. Studying a top Mexican university is definitely a great idea, but consider whether your career will benefit from international exposure, especially improving your language skills. International experience is often a pre-requisite for top jobs in many industries now, especially at board level. Studying abroad can also enrich your life in terms of cultural experiences.
Some people can pay for their own studies, but many have to take a loan or look for a scholarship. Reducing the amount of your own money you spend will always benefit you. While there are many options for financing study in typical destinations like the USA or UK, today some of the best financing available comes through full scholarships to study in developing economies like South Korea or developed ones like Germany and Denmark. Shop around, so to say, and don’t just focus on the typical channels.
If you’re interested in knowing more about selecting the right type of programme for you, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or used the contact form.