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Master's programs don't typically provide funding. So, I'm not sure why anyone would pay for a degree if they're unsure about earning the degree and have no idea what they would do with that degree after earning it. You should ask yourself whether you'll even finish the program if you're not interested in it. If the program does not offer funding, then you should be asking yourself why you'd spend $10-40K on tuition without knowing what you'll get out of it. Even if the program does offer funding, you have to consider the lost earning potential (that is, the salary you aren't earning while you're doing the master's program) and whether you'll ultimately be better off having earned the degree.

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There are a lot of master's degrees (not professional master's but research-based ones) out there that do provide funding in the form of teaching assistantships. I've done a lot of soul-searching myself. I had three undergrad majors, started a PhD without knowing what I wanted to study, started a second master's on the side, and ultimately downgraded my PhD as well. Now I'm going to start a PhD program in what had started as my "secondary" field during my first round of graduate studies, with much clearer goals in mind. Even though I have an undergraduate degree in the field, it wasn't until I was doing my MA that I realized what bound me to the discipline, what kept me going, and what I was curious about.

The bottom line is, it really depends. If you do decide to do a master's, go for something that you're really interested in and one that gives you the experience required to explore your potential career paths. As I said, professional degrees typically come unfunded, so if you're thinking along the lines of a professional program, you'd do best to first obtain some experience in the actual field and make sure it's something you want to do before you commit to a degree program. If you're exploring options for a potential PhD, on the other hand, going for a funded master's can be a great way to figure out what you want to study and whether academic research is for you.

Edited by ThousandsHardships
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