Free degree or let loose passion?
September 5, 2009 8:11 AM   Subscribe

I work for a university with a generous tuition discount and after two years of research my conclusion is that the graduate programs here are generally for people who return to their same jobs (with the exception of med and law school). Most programs rank above the top 30 and the reviews from alumni and current students have given me the impression classes tend to be weak. Help me here!

I want to do my masters. Since not finishing it at another university it has been a passion of mine to do the degree. However, faced with a lot of choice at this university where I work, none of the choice is in my own interest areas.
I really don't want to start anything new. I realize there are some directions I could go that would be good off-shoots but I am unsure as to what it would mean in the context of the job I currently have and will probably have once the degree is finished. Frankly, the job I have is one I am great at but whose prospects are very dim in the current economic environment. I keep thinking that perhaps the best idea would be to do something in policy as a way to make something out of nothing, however my heart lies in technical and creative brand management - a highly selective field I needed time off from. It's been two years and the economy has since tanked so I am stuck. Chuck it in? Do a degree while I work and look for work? Chart a new course?
posted by anonymous to Education (2 answers total)
Why not take a class or two for fun? The best classes always come from the best professors, so ask around and identify a few professors who are really awesome and interesting and go from there.

You might as well look for work if you want to look for work, even if it doesn't work (whew!)

It seems like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself to make a perfect plan, but there is no such thing.
posted by kathrineg at 8:21 AM on September 5, 2009

One thing you'll want to check is whether the degree is truly free. At the school I work for, graduate tuition is free, but it counts as a gift that you need to pay taxes on. You end up taking out student loans to pay the taxes, which end up being about 1/3 of the tuition. Make sure there aren't hidden costs like that before you enroll.
posted by cali59 at 11:29 AM on September 5, 2009

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