Ask the grumpies: Masters programs

Anoninmass asks:

Applying for a Master’s program and it feels so difficult and annoying yet I cannot seem to get ahead without it….why???

Some professions have so many people interested that they can require a masters degree (see:  social work, library science, other “helping” kinds of jobs).

Some professions, particularly in government, require a masters degree that teaches management kinds of skills for getting ahead.  Management is a different skill-set than being a police officer or fire fighter and so on, so these kinds of jobs will require new skills taught in masters programs for getting promoted to management.

I’m not sure why the teaching masters degree is rewarded.  Presumably it’s teaching skills that help in the classroom?  But it’s also not required except in California, so I don’t know.  It seems to be something desired by teachers unions, not school districts.  So… I dunno.

I will mention that masters applications are down this year across the board (the labor market is tightening), so it should be easier than usual to get in!  Our masters program has rolling admissions this year which is unusual for us (last year we had record numbers).

Good luck!

5 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: Masters programs”

  1. rose Says:

    Fascinating that application for entry to Master’s is generally down. Could debt from first college/uni level degree be causing financial concern about increasing debt levels for more education? Could it be fall out from the articles about 6 years ago saying that getting a job directly after high school paid better than incurring school debt? (an argument I never agreed with although not ALL people need a 4 year post high school degree) . What does the informed opinion (not me) say has caused this change?
    Thank you for writing. You give me good fodder for thinking to replace concerns/anxiety from other news sources.

  2. middle_class Says:

    There’s a master degree arms race for any fields. Unfortunately it can be a major hurdle for those of lesser means and excludea talented people without the required degree.

  3. Debbie M Says:

    I don’t know about California, but I read that in Finland they started requiring masters degrees to attract better workers to the field, to increase respect for teachers, and so that teachers could do research to improve their educational system. (They started off using research from the US that we were ignoring, and then they wanted to improve even more.)


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