Looking for an "easy" graduate school program to get a Masters degree (and change the world)
August 21, 2006 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I need a masters degree to build credibility and transition from the financial services industry to working in educational services/public policy...but, financial services will go nicely with my goal to offer practical curriculum in schools (dealing with the all too often ignored topics of financial & character based education).

BACKGROUND:
My struggles in school have led me in this direction & come from an overly inquisitive mind, not so much from a lack of mental capabilities. More than one teacher has been turned off by this and it has frequently translated into less than stellar grades. (Evidence: I tend to do very well on standardized tests)

I have a B.S. in Economics and experience working in Commercial Real Estate, then in Finance/Tax for a total of 5 years - I've done relatively well in my career thus far.

GOAL:
Obtain a masters (one that requires minimal effort) in a subject that will allow me to transisition from the asset mgmt/financial services industry to a position in Public Policy (reforming education) and/or Organizational Change.

Ideally, I'd like to run a non-profit one day that offers financial and character based educational programs to all levels of schools.

QUESTION:
How would you approach graduate school given this goal (if at all)?

I've considered getting an MBA, a masters in Organizational Psych, a JD and a masters in Public Policy - but can't decide! Thanks for all of your help!
posted by Jhaus to Education (6 answers total)
 
Lots of schools have joint MPP/MBA programs. I know people with that degree who have done things similar to what you are trying to do. Of course, it's still three years.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:24 PM on August 21, 2006


I don't have a specific program to recommend, but have you considered a Master's in Education Administration?

From the link: Educational administration degrees prepare graduates for work that ranges from elementary school principal to director of a think tank. And though the range of specific careers may be wide, the skills brought to bear are remarkably similar, including an understanding of educational systems, an ability to manage a large number of people, and the ability to navigate often cumbersome bureaucracies. A degree in educational administration will include classes like educational theory, management, and research techniques.


I know people who are doing graduate degrees in Education, and it certainly seems easier (depending on what you mean by this) than an MBA or a JD. More importantly, it might be better preparation for your ultimate goal. As for your "over inquisitive mind," it might be best to put in in park for the duration of the Master's program, unless you are doing research directly related to your future plans. Otherwise, just 'play the game' and get the piece of paper.
posted by Urban Hermit at 6:26 PM on August 21, 2006


You do realize that a JD requires a lot of effort, time, and is technically not a masters degree, right? I went to law school and I don't actively practice, and I'm all about encouraging others to take a similar route. That said, I am honestly not sure how a JD would help you with your goal. I think an MBA is your best bet - not only will it help you teach your desired subject matter, but it will also help you run your business. You may find that your BS work fulfills some requirements - when I started my MBA I came in with nearly half my coursework done (I did get a BBA, though, so YMMV). Also, when you get your school underway, let me know, I'd love to join your faculty - I love your concept. :)
posted by MeetMegan at 6:39 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


You should look into being a principal. Master's in Educational Administration would be a good option. But in order to be a principal I think you need to have teaching experience.
posted by onepapertiger at 7:54 PM on August 21, 2006


Avoid the full-time MBA - it isn't what you need, and if you are interested in non-profits, you won't recoup the costs.

If you are willing to spend a year or two, something like the EPM (Masters in Education Policy and Management) is the way to go -- you will basically design your own curricula around org psych, education, and psychology/sociology. Harvard has a good program, but there are others in many schools of education.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:23 PM on August 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why not look for an exisiting nonprofit that does something similar and do an informational interview with the Executive Director? No offense, but it sounds to me like you could use a better sense of what nonprofits are all about before you invest years of your life in graduate school.
posted by miss tea at 4:49 AM on August 22, 2006


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