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Hi!  I am in MAJOR need of advice!  Here's the sitch:

I live in California.  I work for an educational non-profit that I LOVE and care for deeply.  I was given an unofficial job offer last week to take over our region as a Regional Manager (making a salary, full-time hours, management experience) for minimum of a one year commitment.

DAYS later, I receive awesome news!  I have been accepted into the Masters of Arts for Psychology with a focus in Cognition and Neuroscience at NYU!!!  NEW YORK OMG!  I have dreamt of New York for nearly ten years now and even applied to NYU for my BA out of high school (which I got rejected to).  This has been my dream of dreams and it is REAL now.

However, I would be a transplant student moving miles and miles away, not knowing anyone, with not nearly enough saved up to steadily live.  I am not afraid to work hard to get to where I want, because I've already worked hard to get to where I am.  I am really battling with myself if I should attempt to defer my admission for a year and possibly take the unofficial job offer (it's not promised yet) or risk it for my dream of studying what I want where I've always wanted.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?!

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If I were in your shoes, I would defer. Why? To give myself a chance to save up some money and get better prepared for NYU. Might there be an option for you to take some graduate courses part-time in California in the next year to help prepare yourself for NYU?

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Why NYU in particular, is there a POI who does research in what you want to do? Personally, I wouldn't leave your current job unless I got accepted into either a fully funded masters or a top 10 school in the field. This may not be your case but I got accepted to a masters at NYU and I was looking at 100k+ debt which is never worth it in Psychology. 

If you are truly set on NYU, I'd do a masters at a cheaper school and then try my best to get into NYU's PhD. My peers tell me they have good funding at that level.

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I got a job when I first applied to schools. I really do like my job and the people I work with, but a PhD is my real goal. I am attempting to see if I can defer however, since by the time I go to school, it'll be less than ~10months, which doesn't look that great on a resume. Plus, this is my only industry job in the field I am looking to go into, so getting that experience and reference is incredibly important. Furthermore, I am told I will be getting a promotion this summer, and this company is pretty generous with their wages, so I am getting some pretty good money coming my way this summer as well. All in all, while I am eager to pursue my PhD, but deferring a year for my career will benefit me both now (money) and in the long run (resume building). 

All that being said, my ultimate goal is a PhD. So if I cannot defer, then I will choose my PhD over my current job. 

One final thing to note: For my PhD, I do get a stipend (varies by school), so won't have to pay out of pocket for anything or take out loans (if I spend within the budget provided). So while having plentiful savings is good to have, it is not crucial. For a Masters, savings are crucial unless you want to go into a lot of debt. And student loans stick with you for life. I'd highly look into what @insert Psychologist said. So I think you should take that into serious consideration as well before you pursue your Masters (maybe even don't go even if you can't defer). 

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1 hour ago, rising_star said:

If I were in your shoes, I would defer. Why? To give myself a chance to save up some money and get better prepared for NYU. Might there be an option for you to take some graduate courses part-time in California in the next year to help prepare yourself for NYU?

Totally understandable.  Unfortunately no, nothing in California that I can do graduate-wise.  There were no offerings in my area for my related-field.

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40 minutes ago, insert Psychologist said:

Why NYU in particular, is there a POI who does research in what you want to do? Personally, I wouldn't leave your current job unless I got accepted into either a fully funded masters or a top 10 school in the field. This may not be your case but I got accepted to a masters at NYU and I was looking at 100k+ debt which is never worth it in Psychology. 

If you are truly set on NYU, I'd do a masters at a cheaper school and then try my best to get into NYU's PhD. My peers tell me they have good funding at that level.

There's a few POI's who's research I REALLY see myself sticking with in the long run.

That makes sense.  I had applied to mostly PhD programs and unfortunately have been rejected to all of them.  NYU was an MA and I was accepted but they didn't offer any funding.

I do actually have two more Master's programs that I've already had letters of rec submitted to, so I think I'll maybe go ahead and submit those in.  Queens College and U of Hartford.  Cheaper cost of living and maybe funding?!

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19 minutes ago, samman1994 said:

I got a job when I first applied to schools. I really do like my job and the people I work with, but a PhD is my real goal. I am attempting to see if I can defer however, since by the time I go to school, it'll be less than ~10months, which doesn't look that great on a resume. Plus, this is my only industry job in the field I am looking to go into, so getting that experience and reference is incredibly important. Furthermore, I am told I will be getting a promotion this summer, and this company is pretty generous with their wages, so I am getting some pretty good money coming my way this summer as well. All in all, while I am eager to pursue my PhD, but deferring a year for my career will benefit me both now (money) and in the long run (resume building). 

All that being said, my ultimate goal is a PhD. So if I cannot defer, then I will choose my PhD over my current job. 

One final thing to note: For my PhD, I do get a stipend (varies by school), so won't have to pay out of pocket for anything or take out loans (if I spend within the budget provided). So while having plentiful savings is good to have, it is not crucial. For a Masters, savings are crucial unless you want to go into a lot of debt. And student loans stick with you for life. I'd highly look into what @insert Psychologist said. So I think you should take that into serious consideration as well before you pursue your Masters (maybe even don't go even if you can't defer). 

Congrats on your successes!

I am on the same page with the end goal being the PhD, which is why I think this is a struggle right now.  I also love this company and it has fostered such profound growth within me and if I can grow within it even further for a year, it's hard to pass up.  Between a rock and a hard place for sure.

I'm going to go ahead and submit my final two applications in Master's programs in cheaper living areas and cross my fingers for funding (and responses before NYU is due)!

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6 minutes ago, neuromorgan said:

Congrats on your successes!

I am on the same page with the end goal being the PhD, which is why I think this is a struggle right now.  I also love this company and it has fostered such profound growth within me and if I can grow within it even further for a year, it's hard to pass up.  Between a rock and a hard place for sure.

I'm going to go ahead and submit my final two applications in Master's programs in cheaper living areas and cross my fingers for funding (and responses before NYU is due)!

I should mention, the reason I stay isn't really for the company. While I do enjoy it, and the money is nice, I'd leave it in a heartbeat for a PhD. The only reason I'm really trying to defer is just for resume building and the extra money. 

Again in your situation, that extra money is a lot more crucial. I know a lot of people who have gone into debt from school, and it's not pretty. Right now you're mentally between a rock and a hard place, but if you do leave your job unprepared financially for grad school, then you'll physically be between a rock and a hard place (which is much worse and harder to get out of). I don't know what career you plan on pursuing, but it better have a big pay off with just a Masters (if you're planning on taking out loans). 

Regardless, good luck on your decision! Hope it works out for you!

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