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Advice and Wisdom from Master's graduates


jc14
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Hey guys,

Now that many schools have released their decision, I thought I would start this thread.

Most master's students aren't fortunate enough to get full-funding/stipends, and are going to be taking out loans on loans to get a master's degree. And for many of us, the question "is it worth it" is going to be on our minds for a long time.

I was wondering if any graduates (from Master's programs) wanted to give their best advice on how to get the most out of a Master's program. Is it the networking, relationship with cohorts, the classes we take, the internships, seeing assistantships for experience? What do you guys think? 
 

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I was wondering if any graduates (from Master's programs) wanted to give their best advice on how to get the most out of a Master's program. Is it the networking, relationship with cohorts, the classes we take, the internships, seeing assistantships for experience? What do you guys think? 

 

 

Since a lot of master's programs are classes - use your electives wisely.  Don't be afraid to take classes outside of your department or the school of education!  In my master's program, I took a PhD-level course in Cognitive Science and it was pretty awesome.  So explore!

 

To maximize your chance to be employable after graduation, don't just do classes.  Get an assistantship, internship, teaching, or research position.  As education tends to value experience a lot, you want to make sure that you are securing positions that are similar to what you want to do after you graduate.  I had a 2 year assistantship and two semester long graduate internships.  While I was extremely busy, it helped me to narrow down what I wanted to do after graduation and gave me the necessary experience to secure a job relatively quickly.

 

Make friends with your cohort mates.  These people will be the start of your professional network when you graduate and can be extremely helpful to you in the future.  Also -- it makes the program much more enjoyable to have people to study with and commiserate with when times are tough in the semester.  Also --utilize the older students in the program.  Ask for course recommendations and good places to do internships/assistantships.

 

And if you are all interested in going on to your PhD -- make sure you have a good relationship with at least one ideally two professors in your program.  And try to get involved in research during your master's.  It will give you some good insight on whether the PhD makes sense for you in the future.  Particularly helpful if you are not sure whether you want to go on or not.

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