When is the right time to enroll for master's? Is a question many students have asked themselves at one point or another after completing their undergraduate studies
Yes it is great to be an expert in a specific field, and a master’s programme better still an Ivy League masters at that guarantees that.
It lifts you from the commoners pool and rightfully puts you where you belong, the table of respectable gentlemen strangers and family alike like to call ‘our son’
However that nagging question of time is still there, when is the right time to enroll for a masters? Should you immediately enroll for a Master's program after finishing your Bachelor's degree or wait a bit say two years before enrolling?
Generally waiting at least for two year before applying for a master’s programme makes more sense.
Here is why.
Clarifying your Course of interest
Do your remember choosing that major/area of specialization back in campus because it really sounded interesting and fun, once classes started though and reality set in, the same course that was so appealing before is not that interesting anymore.
The same is about a master course you need to give yourself time to think carefully before making a decision on what to pursue.
It is easy to choose the wrong course based on perceptions of the field. Working for a year or two in your field will allow you to explore your talent, gauge your interest, and network with professionals. With all of these experiences, you can be more confident that your chosen field is truly your life's calling
Some experience now means better learning later
A year in working will give you the chance to apply what you learnt in your Bachelor's degree and then identify gaps and field of interest in your knowledge which you may want to fill in your postgraduate degree.
MBA is not just about getting another degree and therefore qualify for that promotion, it's about combining the degree with work experience.
Having worked previously also allows you to put everything you'll learn into perspective, relate it to real-world problems, and thereby achieve a much more useful and rewarding learning experience
Work experience informs your classroom learning, giving you insights that allow you to explore topics in a way that students with no work experience are unlikely to do.
That is what makes it extremely valuable.
Scholarships & Grants
A master’s programme especially undertaken in Ivy League university like Harvard, Oxford, Yale etc is expensive and costs a ton.
Students can however take advantage of Scholarship programmes such as Chevenin and Commonwealth scholarship programmes all which offer full scholarship and even stipend while studying.
One of the requirements in order to qualify for these Scholarships is some working experience at least two years and further requires letters of reference from your employee too in order to qualify.
Some master’s programmes also require a minimum of two years’ work experience in order to admit you.
Working for a few years will allow you to save some cash and start paying back your student loan or also save some cash for your Master's.
Don’t saddle yourself with more debt for no good reason. Paying your student loan will also see you with a lower loan balance and less interest in the long run.
A postgraduate degree is demanding, requiring self-discipline and personal maturity from their students. Having worked and being a few years older will see you being a more professional, efficient, and ultimately successful postgraduate student.
Special Circumstances: When enrolling for Masters immediately makes sense
1. Some schools offer joint or continuing programs, where you can complete your undergraduate studies and then proceed to your master’s studies in one program. This make sense because these programs essentially expedite the process, saving you years and tuition fees in the process.
2. If your employer is paying for it. If you had a job while doing your bachelors and once you complete your employer is willing to fund it, check with your employer since some companies do offers education benefits after working there for some years. They can offer full, half or partial education assistance so take advantage of that.
3. If you're certain the return on education is worth it. Enrolling for masters is a good thing however it cost money, and not just cheap money, so you need to make sure the return on your investment is worth it. Consider your Bachelor studies student loan then add master’s programme costs, how long will it take you to recoup that? One year? Three years? These are real questions you need to address before you click that masters application form send button.