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Advice on what master's degree to get

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TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    Hello everyone!

    Being in a quiet difficult situation right now, I was wondering weather some of you might give me some advice.

    I’m currently doing a bachelor’s degree in translation studies in Germany. Even though I’m one of the best students in my course, I’m well-aware that it’s not really the best degree in terms of employability and I’m planning to get a master’s degree in a more promising field and I’d like to go to the UK for that degree.

    The problem now is that I don’t know exactly what master’s degree I should attempt. Business and economics have always been of interest for me. Back in secondary school I had my specialist area in economics and it’s also specialist subject at the moment, so I think it would make sense to study something in that area. I’m also working in project management at the moment which I think might come in handy.

    Since my bachelor’s degree will be in a somewhat unrelated field, it might be more difficult to get into a more specialized master’s program, that’s why I think a more general program might be better. But then again I’ve read numerous times that you should really specialize in one field of say economics because everything else is kind of wasting your time. Therefore, I’m a little bit confused and worried if it would really be the right decision. Another thing is that I’m not particularly good at maths and some of the course contents seem to be very heavy on mathematics. It’s not that I don’t know it at all, but I’m worried it will be much more difficult for me than for someone who did his bachelor’s degree in economics etc.

    I’d really appreciate it if you could give me some advice or give me some links with useful information.

    Have a good one!

    If you're focus is employability, then you may be coming at the problem from the wrong angle.

    In your shoes, I'd try to narrow down what area you ultimately want to work in. Research the types of jobs you would like. Maybe contact a few employers and ask whether a Masters would give you an advantage - and if so, what course you should be looking for.

    You may find that some kind of interning or professional experience, would give you more of an advantage than a Masters. It's possible that using your money to support yourself through a six or twelve month unpaid internship, might give you more of a head start.

    As a general rule, I tend to think that if you don't know what you want to study as a Masters, then you'd be better off delaying for a year or two, and develop a clearer view.

    Klix made some excellent points. Is your course at Germersheim or Heidelberg?

    UK Econ departments require prior undergrad modules in calculus, stats, econometrics, micro and macro. It is s subject master's and unsuitable for people without prior knowledge. The only option is do a 1 year econ diploma. If you score at least 65% or higher, you may be admitted to the MSc course. This route would take you two yrs ( 1yr diploma + 1 yr MSc) and you need to factor in tuition and living costs. Unis such as Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Kent, Liverpool, Birkbeck,and Warwick offer this option.

    Advice: If you are not good at maths, think again about MSc Econ. See some analytical coursework on department's website. Most diploma converts come from quant/business background (maths, engineering, accounting) and a few social scientists (politics and psychology). Very few humanities students make it. Some unis specially point out quant requirement. It is known that the maths requirement for MSc Econ is quant heavy at some unis (LSE, Warwick, UCL, Bristol) and some are less quant heavy.

    If you decide on the business school option and take a MSc in management, you may take core modules in finance, marketing, quantitative methods plus an elective. Some courses are designed as conversion and accept people without BA business degree. Generally speaking, it is conducive to work 1-2 yrs prior enrollment. This strengthen your profile, you can save some money and makes you more marketable.

    Humanities aren't particularly employable. A Masters in Political Science with a focus on Political Economy is a good option for you, as are conversion courses (look at GDL and Accountancy Conversion courses).

    One aspect you should also consider beforehand is where you are planning to work after your degree, Germany or the UK. Getting a highly specialised postgraduate degree in the UK does not urgently make you more employable in Germany, and some German recruiters also tend to be slightly suspicious towards people who have drastically changed their subjects. You might find that easier in the UK.
    Besides, as long as you specialise in an in-demand field, translation studies is well-paid over here (and I'm saying that as a freelance translator). You could always consider further improving your employability with a postgraduate degree in translation studies, which would give you quite an advantage competing with the usual "Diplomübersetzer".
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