Is it a bad idea to do a masters degree if I have no end goal or aspirations?

Watch
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#1
I'm in my last year of my bachelors in literature and I don't want to take a year out to decide what I want to do, I'm 22 and want to go on to continue literature with a masters or maybe something generally related to it. Is it a bad idea to do this without any job/career aspirations? A part of me wants to continue into education to see how far I can get.
0
reply
cheesecakelove
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 week ago
#2
(Original post by word_boxed)
I'm in my last year of my bachelors in literature and I don't want to take a year out to decide what I want to do, I'm 22 and want to go on to continue literature with a masters or maybe something generally related to it. Is it a bad idea to do this without any job/career aspirations? A part of me wants to continue into education to see how far I can get.
Is there a reason why you want to do a masters? Unless you are really passionate about the subject or it helps with your career goals, I would think carefully about doing a Masters. If you have a good reason, then go for it, but don't just use it simply as a way of avoiding finding employment and starting a career. Whilst education is good, it is important to think about long term.

During your degree, have you done any activities toward career planning? It may be talking to your university careers advisor or taking time to explore your interests may be a good idea, and then if you decide a Masters is truly right for you, apply in the future.
Last edited by cheesecakelove; 1 week ago
2
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#3
(Original post by cheesecakelove)
Is there a reason why you want to do a masters? Unless you are really passionate about the subject or it helps with your career goals, I would think carefully about doing a Masters. If you have a good reason, then go for it, but don't just use it simply as a way of avoiding finding employment and starting a career. Whilst education is good, it is important to think about long term.

During your degree, have you done any activities toward career planning? It may be talking to your university careers advisor or taking time to explore your interests may be a good idea, and then if you decide a Masters is truly right for you, apply in the future.
I enjoy education and think it's important and I would like to further my knowledge, my uni doesn't offer much in the way of activities but I have spoken to a careers advisor already and I've said to them that I was stuck in what specific field/career path I want to pursue but i had generally 3 ideas, generally centred around literature/book related, media(entertainment), or even education. In which i was told that i should do a masters because i sounded passionate about it and if i chose a masters that had a bit of a broad topic range but still related to the ideas i had then it would be a good idea.
0
reply
giella
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 week ago
#4
If you’re passionate about a subject, that’s the minimum criterion you need to study further.

However, you need to look at your broader CV. Even academics tend to have other strings to their bow when they’re getting through their core research training. It’s good to have some experience of work.

I would also caution against doing a taught master’s if you’re interested in going into academia. Whilst it does provide a route into academia, you have to remember that not all master’s degrees are equal. Doing an MRes or an MA by research or even applying directly to an MPhil will equip you with more skills both directly related to an academic career and transferable to another sector than a taught master’s. Arguably a taught master’s in a subject like English is just year four of your degree. If you’re serious about academics, there’s no better way to test and prove it than a more research focused master’s.
2
reply
PhoenixFortune
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 week ago
#5
(Original post by word_boxed)
I'm in my last year of my bachelors in literature and I don't want to take a year out to decide what I want to do, I'm 22 and want to go on to continue literature with a masters or maybe something generally related to it. Is it a bad idea to do this without any job/career aspirations? A part of me wants to continue into education to see how far I can get.
In addition to the great advice already given, I'd say to think about whether there will be the possibility of you deciding to work in a completely different sector - if there is, then using up your masters funding now might not be a great idea.
2
reply
londonmyst
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 week ago
#6
It depends on how interested you are in the subject or course content, your financial situation and personal circumstances.
I enjoy collecting postgrad qualifications, keep an eye out for interesting courses and opportunities for sponsorship & tuition fee funding.
Used up my master's loan on my first postgrad, then financed the others through credit and employer sponsorship.
1
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#7
(Original post by giella)
If you’re passionate about a subject, that’s the minimum criterion you need to study further.

However, you need to look at your broader CV. Even academics tend to have other strings to their bow when they’re getting through their core research training. It’s good to have some experience of work.

I would also caution against doing a taught master’s if you’re interested in going into academia. Whilst it does provide a route into academia, you have to remember that not all master’s degrees are equal. Doing an MRes or an MA by research or even applying directly to an MPhil will equip you with more skills both directly related to an academic career and transferable to another sector than a taught master’s. Arguably a taught master’s in a subject like English is just year four of your degree. If you’re serious about academics, there’s no better way to test and prove it than a more research focused master’s.
I am passionate about it i think, not sure if this sounds stupid but I'm passionate about storytelling and always wanted to pursue film/television aswell so that is constantly on my mind aswell. As for out of class opportunities and training it is hard to come by my uni doesn't provide much and due to covid it is hard to pursue at the moment. I was advised by my current course head not to pursue a research based masters, which is advice purely based on my ability.
0
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#8
(Original post by londonmyst)
It depends on how interested you are in the subject or course content, your financial situation and personal circumstances.
I enjoy collecting postgrad qualifications, keep an eye out for interesting courses and opportunities for sponsorship & tuition fee funding.
Used up my master's loan on my first postgrad, then financed the others through credit and employer sponsorship.
The courses in my area are very limited and even online distance learning is very limited (Scotland) and I'm not in a position to move but the loan won't have that much effect on me but in terms of other opportunities for funding, they are hard to come by (I think).
0
reply
giella
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 week ago
#9
(Original post by word_boxed)
I am passionate about it i think, not sure if this sounds stupid but I'm passionate about storytelling and always wanted to pursue film/television aswell so that is constantly on my mind aswell. As for out of class opportunities and training it is hard to come by my uni doesn't provide much and due to covid it is hard to pursue at the moment. I was advised by my current course head not to pursue a research based masters, which is advice purely based on my ability.
If that’s actually the case – that your ability isn’t up to snuff for a research based master’s – then I don’t really see how you would be contemplating staying in education.
I’m not saying that is true – I don’t know you from Adam – but I do know that doing a master’s knowing or believing you are not going to get any further with it isn’t the best use of postgraduate funding or your time.

If you wanted to try your hand at converting to something else, by all means go ahead. But if it’s in English, a taught master’s may not amount to much more than a fourth year at uni. I’ve done master’s level work and the difference in standards between that and third year is honestly not that high. They’re mainly just expecting you to work more consistently at the level you achieved by the end of third year. There are maybe twenty jobs in the world outside of academia that would specifically require a taught master’s in English in an applicant. You’re not going to add much to your employability by doing it and you may find you’re wasting a year if you’re doing it full time. Maybe something to do part time but you may regret doing it later if you find you want to study something else and you find you’ve blown your funding on it.
0
reply
leopard202
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 week ago
#10
It's not bad since you will finish it with a degree and a better education. It is likely to help you learn more about your interests too and decide on where you want to go in future. You don't know what your journey will be, even if you do it to 'procrastinate' there's still a chance it will show you new opportunities and give you ideas.

However you have two main concerns:

-Will you just be wasting your time? Only you can say that.

-Will you be motivated to do the work up to standard? Only you can say that. If you are motivated to do it through passion and academic ability at least, i don't see why it would be a bad idea.
1
reply
threeportdrift
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 week ago
#11
(Original post by word_boxed)
I'm in my last year of my bachelors in literature and I don't want to take a year out to decide what I want to do, I'm 22 and want to go on to continue literature with a masters or maybe something generally related to it. Is it a bad idea to do this without any job/career aspirations? A part of me wants to continue into education to see how far I can get.
Yes it is. Masters degrees are expensive and they take time and commitment. For the small number of people that can afford the money and time to do a Masters, they can usually only manage it once in a lifetime.

You need to get out and get working and find out where your professional interests lie, and then plan on doing the right Masters, at the right time, when you are getting value for money.

Right now all you can do is a generic Masters, or perhaps worse, the wrong Masters. You end up with with no goal, with even greater debt and possibly having blown your only chance to do a Masters until you retire.
1
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#12
(Original post by threeportdrift)
Yes it is. Masters degrees are expensive and they take time and commitment. For the small number of people that can afford the money and time to do a Masters, they can usually only manage it once in a lifetime.

You need to get out and get working and find out where your professional interests lie, and then plan on doing the right Masters, at the right time, when you are getting value for money.

Right now all you can do is a generic Masters, or perhaps worse, the wrong Masters. You end up with with no goal, with even greater debt and possibly having blown your only chance to do a Masters until you retire.
I'm in the situation where it won't financially cripple me and where I am and the university I've been looking at the fees aren't that high. I'm not in the personal situation where I can move away to somewhere with better opportunities at the moment (and for a little while) in many of the industries or general things that I'm interested in pursuing. This is the 3rd general topic I have pursued academically and find real interest in, I'm unsure what to do really. I love the course I do, i'd maybe like to do something more specific if there was the option but the online/distance learning is limited in Scotland in these topics.
0
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#13
(Original post by leopard202)
It's not bad since you will finish it with a degree and a better education. It is likely to help you learn more about your interests too and decide on where you want to go in future. You don't know what your journey will be, even if you do it to 'procrastinate' there's still a chance it will show you new opportunities and give you ideas.

However you have two main concerns:

-Will you just be wasting your time? Only you can say that.

-Will you be motivated to do the work up to standard? Only you can say that. If you are motivated to do it through passion and academic ability at least, i don't see why it would be a bad idea.
That is exactly what my careers advisor said! i don't think it would be a waste of time and I'm motivated and due to covid it's not like I can do much for the next while anyway and I'm fortunate to not be financially crippled by the debt due to the area I'm in.
0
reply
leopard202
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 week ago
#14
(Original post by word_boxed)
That is exactly what my careers advisor said! i don't think it would be a waste of time and I'm motivated and due to covid it's not like I can do much for the next while anyway and I'm fortunate to not be financially crippled by the debt due to the area I'm in.
I did a history based masters degree ( so mostly reading and writing and doable from home) this year partly cause i thought lockdown is better used studying if you can't find work anyway. No regrets it's been a good time to study. Just also consider motivation may be challenging during lockdown some days! and you won't have to relocate and have more options which uni you enrol online with
0
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 1 week ago
#15
(Original post by leopard202)
I did a history based masters degree ( so mostly reading and writing and doable from home) this year partly cause i thought lockdown is better used studying if you can't find work anyway. No regrets it's been a good time to study. Just also consider motivation may be challenging during lockdown some days! and you won't have to relocate and have more options which uni you enrol online with
yes that's exactly what i've been thinking and this is probably going to last a while, I think I'll be motivated, I think I'm hesitating due to the lack of courses there are. I live in Scotland and was hoping to find a masters that didn't exceed the loan I can get.
0
reply
Arden University
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#16
Report 6 days ago
#16
Hi there,

When I first started the degree I am currently doing, I wasn't really sure of an end goal myself - where I wanted to take my degree and didn't really have any specific career aspirations but felt the degree would be beneficial for me to figure out what it was that I was genuinely interested in. Whilst completing my degree is where I figured out what it was I enjoyed and where I wanted to take my further education. Because of this, I have found a few potential masters degrees after I complete my undergraduate (I am in my final year!). Maybe continuing your studies may help you to find that end goal you are searching for!

Toni,
Student Ambassador
0
reply
word_boxed
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 6 days ago
#17
(Original post by Arden University)
Hi there,

When I first started the degree I am currently doing, I wasn't really sure of an end goal myself - where I wanted to take my degree and didn't really have any specific career aspirations but felt the degree would be beneficial for me to figure out what it was that I was genuinely interested in. Whilst completing my degree is where I figured out what it was I enjoyed and where I wanted to take my further education. Because of this, I have found a few potential masters degrees after I complete my undergraduate (I am in my final year!). Maybe continuing your studies may help you to find that end goal you are searching for!

Toni,
Student Ambassador
I'm doing an undergrad right now anyway though and I'm in my last year, and I still don't know specifically, I have some ideas I guess but honestly not sure exactly. But I do hope a masters can help.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (149)
62.61%
I don't have everything I need (89)
37.39%

Watched Threads

View All