First, let me apologize if there is already a thread for this. I looked through existing threads and did not see one for this application season at least.
Does anyone have thoughts on choosing whether to do an MA first or go straight for a PhD? I didn't do enough research in choosing schools and ended up applying and being accepted to 2 PGR unranked/low ranked PhD programs (with funding) that have less than stellar job placement rates (around 20% on Aero Data Lab).
I've also been accepted to MA programs at NIU and GSU (GSU is funded, waiting to hear about NIU funding).
My gut tells me to do an MA first to solidify my AOI and shoot for PhD programs with better job placement. As I look, however, I notice that a few people from these MA programs actually attend the PhD programs that have offered me admission. This makes me uneasy about whether doing the MA would truly make my application more competitive or whether I would be better off just attending a less prestigious PhD program and worrying about job placement when the time comes. I believe I would be a good fit at the PhD programs, it is just the future job prospects that worry me.
What has your experience been with this, or is anyone else in the same position?