Dropping to a lower ranked University for Postgrad?

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SaxaDeans
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#1
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This might be a silly worry but I am currently doing my undergrad in a very top-ranking university. I'll be going into my last year in September. Let's just say it would take very little guesses to guess the one I go it. Anyway, I hope to apply for a postgrad in 2021 or 2022. I may need to take a year out to get more non-acdemic experience.

However, the masters I want to do though is only offered by ex-polytechnics, relatively new universities, or basically universities that are very low ranked or not ranked at all.

16 unis in the UK do it. It's a professional qualification, in a growing sector and all 16 courses are approved by the accrediting body for the profession. You cannot become a member of the accrediting body unless you have at least a masters in it. So it doesn't matter where I go really, as I'll be qualified to do the profession no matter where I go. One non-Russell group but top 50 uni in the UK does offer it, but I would guess that course gets the top of all students, including international students who want to do the course and I'm realistic about my competitiveness as a student so there is no guarantee I'll get into that one. I'm predicted a first but experience will probably more important for getting on this masters.

Yet, I'm worried dropping down to a low ranking university would affect my career and CV. As even though it's a growing profession I might have to work in related jobs in the sector, or related sectors before a job opportunity comes up and I've enough work experience to be a competitive applicant.

Having said that, I am familiar with the sector that I want to do my masters in and I know those who work and therefore hire in the profession know that the course is only offered in said 16 unis. All of which they would have gone to themselves if they studied in the UK.

High ranking unis offer related courses or academic degrees in the subject area, but it's not this course. I might be able to work in the same sector but not in the specific profession. If they did offer it I wouldn't be batting an eyelid and I'd know what my top course/uni choices would be and I wouldn't have any reservations about doing the course. I feel doing a related course in a top-ranking uni would just be a waste of money and I'll regret it and always be hankering to do the course I want to do. I'll be going into debt to do a masters so I need to make the right decision and I probably just have get over my snobbishness.
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Plunker0202
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I'm in an analogous and scaled-down situation: RG UG, niche masters interest, to work with most specialists in my niche (for, say, an MPhil) would involve downgrading my institution. If you were hovering above your current self from an enlightened dimension, observing your dilemma - prestige + irrelevant course, or downgrade + relevant course - I reckon your enlightened self would recognise the relevant course as the obviously better choice. That said, your current self is, like mine, an unenlightened being, a moth to the siren of the glittering unreality of prestige, and so, like me, you will choose the worse option, as the grimace of your spiritual self echoes through the heavens, powerless to shake your earthly incarnation from its vanity-laden slumber, helpless and exasperated as it cannot reach into, but only look upon the physical realm as your fleshy avatar strides unawares into the traps and pitfalls its spiritual counterpart would recoil from in horror.

Also, if your downgrade options are sufficient to qualify you (you mention that recruiters know they are the only options, so wouldn't see it negatively), I see no reason for you to opt for the prestige. My situation is unlike yours in that the prestige is somewhat more necessary come recruitment.
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physgradstudent
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(Original post by SaxaDeans)
This might be a silly worry but I am currently doing my undergrad in a very top-ranking university. I'll be going into my last year in September. Let's just say it would take very little guesses to guess the one I go it. Anyway, I hope to apply for a postgrad in 2021 or 2022. I may need to take a year out to get more non-acdemic experience.

However, the masters I want to do though is only offered by ex-polytechnics, relatively new universities, or basically universities that are very low ranked or not ranked at all.

16 unis in the UK do it. It's a professional qualification, in a growing sector and all 16 courses are approved by the accrediting body for the profession. You cannot become a member of the accrediting body unless you have at least a masters in it. So it doesn't matter where I go really, as I'll be qualified to do the profession no matter where I go. One non-Russell group but top 50 uni in the UK does offer it, but I would guess that course gets the top of all students, including international students who want to do the course and I'm realistic about my competitiveness as a student so there is no guarantee I'll get into that one. I'm predicted a first but experience will probably more important for getting on this masters.

Yet, I'm worried dropping down to a low ranking university would affect my career and CV. As even though it's a growing profession I might have to work in related jobs in the sector, or related sectors before a job opportunity comes up and I've enough work experience to be a competitive applicant.

Having said that, I am familiar with the sector that I want to do my masters in and I know those who work and therefore hire in the profession know that the course is only offered in said 16 unis. All of which they would have gone to themselves if they studied in the UK.

High ranking unis offer related courses or academic degrees in the subject area, but it's not this course. I might be able to work in the same sector but not in the specific profession. If they did offer it I wouldn't be batting an eyelid and I'd know what my top course/uni choices would be and I wouldn't have any reservations about doing the course. I feel doing a related course in a top-ranking uni would just be a waste of money and I'll regret it and always be hankering to do the course I want to do. I'll be going into debt to do a masters so I need to make the right decision and I probably just have get over my snobbishness.
Often polytechnics are better than higher ranking unis for more applied subjects and vocational things. Employers will see the university you did your first degree in. If those are the unis that offer the masters in the profession you want then that's where you should go.
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mike23mike
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(Original post by SaxaDeans)
This might be a silly worry but I am currently doing my undergrad in a very top-ranking university. I'll be going into my last year in September. Let's just say it would take very little guesses to guess the one I go it. Anyway, I hope to apply for a postgrad in 2021 or 2022. I may need to take a year out to get more non-acdemic experience.

However, the masters I want to do though is only offered by ex-polytechnics, relatively new universities, or basically universities that are very low ranked or not ranked at all.

16 unis in the UK do it. It's a professional qualification, in a growing sector and all 16 courses are approved by the accrediting body for the profession. You cannot become a member of the accrediting body unless you have at least a masters in it. So it doesn't matter where I go really, as I'll be qualified to do the profession no matter where I go. One non-Russell group but top 50 uni in the UK does offer it, but I would guess that course gets the top of all students, including international students who want to do the course and I'm realistic about my competitiveness as a student so there is no guarantee I'll get into that one. I'm predicted a first but experience will probably more important for getting on this masters.

Yet, I'm worried dropping down to a low ranking university would affect my career and CV. As even though it's a growing profession I might have to work in related jobs in the sector, or related sectors before a job opportunity comes up and I've enough work experience to be a competitive applicant.

Having said that, I am familiar with the sector that I want to do my masters in and I know those who work and therefore hire in the profession know that the course is only offered in said 16 unis. All of which they would have gone to themselves if they studied in the UK.

High ranking unis offer related courses or academic degrees in the subject area, but it's not this course. I might be able to work in the same sector but not in the specific profession. If they did offer it I wouldn't be batting an eyelid and I'd know what my top course/uni choices would be and I wouldn't have any reservations about doing the course. I feel doing a related course in a top-ranking uni would just be a waste of money and I'll regret it and always be hankering to do the course I want to do. I'll be going into debt to do a masters so I need to make the right decision and I probably just have get over my snobbishness.
Wow, this is a tricky one and clearly you have thought long and hard about this. You are keen to undertake your masters with a specific vocation in mind and its great that you are laser-focused in wanting to follow that career. If you honestly want to have a job in that particular area then perhaps you should go to one of the lower-ranked universities but whose course content suits your needs.
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