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advice on researching for masters

Hello, I'm about to enter my final year of a biology degree. I have been stagnating for the past couple of years, with no real goal or idea in mind with what I want to do, with my degree or life in general. I've been increasingly getting pressured by my parents to think about which direction to go as my time doing my degree is coming to an end. I have no real passions or things I enjoy doing and my greatest demotivator was not seeing myself doing anything in the future which came from a rough time in my teens that I'm still recovering from (doing my best as of now at 21).
The reason I'm making this post is to gather advice on how to look for information. I did some digging into what fields and jobs are looking like they will be booming or relevant in the future and one of the things I found was electrical engineering. This particularly stood out to me as my father is a handy man with qualifications primarily as an electrician. I never chose biology out of passion, but rather as it was the only thing I had a slight interest in, which is no longer the case, so delving into things outside of biology is no issue. But like I said electrical engineering is looking interesting, particularly with certain aspects in robotics and engineering, but I'm finding it particularly difficult to find information on it as a masters degree. For anyone who has experience researching these things or if you have any general tips I would greatly appreciate it all. Thank you in advance
sorry to hear you are struggling with direction - I was very similar (still am sometimes!)

I think part of that was not really understanding what really goes on in a specific field of work/study. and also, don't underestimate the big difference the people / organisation can make to enjoying the work and how that impacts being motivated.

For me its hard to imagine doing a job (or Masters, or anything) without it being quite real - seeing the place, meeting the people - then it becomes motivating for me. Are you like that?

I have done 3 Masters as part of specialising or changing career direction, in all cases the inspiration / motivation for me came from speaking with folks on the programmes (academics and students). Open days etc are ideal but there is nothing stopping you reaching out to admissions / academics outside that normal cycle.

Bit left field (you may already have thought about) but an overlap between biology and robotics / electronics is implants / in-vitro stuff etc - a fascinating and growing area, you would have a head start on other applicants with your knowledge of biology

FWIW my dad was a very able electronics engineer, but I was rubbish at it - don't let familiarity lead you towards things that aren't a good fit for you
(edited 9 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by ChiefBrody
sorry to hear you are struggling with direction - I was very similar (still am sometimes!)

I think part of that was not really understanding what really goes on in a specific field of work/study. and also, don't underestimate the big difference the people / organisation can make to enjoying the work and how that impacts being motivated.

For me its hard to imagine doing a job (or Masters, or anything) without it being quite real - seeing the place, meeting the people - then it becomes motivating for me. Are you like that?

I have done 3 Masters as part of specialising or changing career direction, in all cases the inspiration / motivation for me came from speaking with folks on the programmes (academics and students). Open days etc are ideal but there is nothing stopping you reaching out to admissions / academics outside that normal cycle.

Bit left field (you may already have thought about) but an overlap between biology and robotics / electronics is implants / in-vitro stuff etc - a fascinating and growing area, you would have a head start on other applicants with your knowledge of biology

FWIW my dad was a very able electronics engineer, but I was rubbish at it - don't let familiarity lead you towards things that aren't a good fit for you


Wow, first of all thank you for the lengthy response I greatly appreciate your time.

"seeing the place, meeting the people" - I've unfortunately let a lot of opportunities slip past me because of problems with social anxiety and a tendency to shut myself off. I've been coming to terms with it and opening up and I understand that as I step into this next section of my life I'm going to have to do things that I don't like, in and effort to do what I do like. I hadn't thought about it in the way you have suggested however, so it is definitely something I will explore going forward.

"I have done 3 Masters" - how did that feel? I'm daunting even doing a first Masters program and the financial investment it entails, did you experience hardships in that sense? And if so, how did you overcome it?

"an overlap between biology and robotics" I actually hadn't even thought of this, I had delved into research looking at a mix of biology and coding, but not in the sense of implants, again thank you for this insight I'll definitely look into this.

"don't let familiarity lead you towards things that aren't a good fit for you" - yeah this one resonates, not just in this case but even going into further education to begin with. Applicable even to external areas of my life, I really needed to hear this.

Just as a follow up question, something I thought of after writing the post originally, but how would you approach filling in requirements that are missing for certain applications? Such as Maths or Physics or anything of the sort.

Thank you!
Original post by cryssan
"seeing the place, meeting the people" - I've unfortunately let a lot of opportunities slip past me because of problems with social anxiety and a tendency to shut myself off. I've been coming to terms with it and opening up and . . .

Sounds like you are moving forward with this, good luck.

I have felt the same in the past, it got better by just doing stuff and taking lots of little steps. A top tip (maybe?) it also got better for me by doing stuff that didn't matter too much - ie don't build yourself up to an important event / interview / call and feel under immense pressure to do it well. I went to less important stuff, just to get used to how it feels and what worked for me.
Original post by cryssan
"I have done 3 Masters" - how did that feel? . . .


Depends what you mean by that

The work / thinking / challenge wasn't that different to under graduate, so it didn't feel any harder. Some people were way smarter than UG, but usually in a nice way. You also become an expert in something, possibly even a national / international expert which feels nice. Co-authoring a paper with a well respected professor definitely feels nice.

Not sure how useful my experience on finance would be. Got a scholarship for my first Masters (not sure how common that is these days), my company paid for my second Masters as part of my development. Self funded my third Masters from savings as part of a career change, it quickly paid for itself.

Don't overlook non UK Masters - overseas Unis can be cheaper (though Brexit really didn't help) and accom costs can be lower too

eg Israel has a Biomed Engineering Masters, with lots of interesting content, that is free (I think) - https://www.unipage.net/en/206/technion_israel_institute_of_technology
https://int.technion.ac.il/programs/graduate-school/biomedical-engineering/
(edited 9 months ago)

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