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thePriest

How old were you when you started your masters program?

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My background is in a different field than the one I am trying to get into. So I'm taking a year to self study CS and Math to learn the concepts so I can apply. I'm not doing it on a whim. I love this stuff! I'm passionate about it. It just hit me that by the time I start I'll be 30 years old! It's a scary thought. I'm sure I'm not alone, how did you counter the negativity that goes with age? 

Edited by thePriest

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I did two MAs - the first one I started when I was 25 (turned 26 shortly after the first semester started) - This was a policy program and I was a bit mid-range but most people were my age give or take a couple of years and there were several students already in their 30s

I started my second MA when I was 33 (turned 34 shortly after the first semester started) and this was in a humanities program  and the majority were straight out of undergrad- so I was by far the oldest in my cohort - I was very scared that I would not be able to get along with my peers but it was okay and turned out great! 

I will be starting my PhD at 36 -so I know that feeling of anxiety when you think "I'll be XX years old when I finish!" but if that's what you are passionate about - go for it! I found that there was always at least one person who was even older than me lol like at my second MA, when I was the oldest in my cohort, someone even older than me in their 40s started 2 semesters or so after I did.

I'm not sure what negativity you are referring to when it comes to age, but when I started freaking out about my age, a couple of my professors told me that they had started late, and that made me feel better. More than anything though - I knew that if I didn't do it, I'd regret it - and then I really would be too scared to pursue further studies if I delayed it any longer. If let the fear of being a student in my 30's with practically 0 steady income stop me from pursuing my studies, I was sure that at 40, I'd really regret it and by then I'd be even more scared because of my age and then end up never going back to school and regretting that. From time to time, I look at my friends who stayed at work and I see their lifestyle and see them buying houses and stuff and it feels strange, but I'm feeling so much more fulfilled with my life and career path than a lot of my friends so I know I did the right thing. 

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I'm currently in a master's program which I began the semester after I finished my undergraduate degree. I'm 22, and definitely one of the younger ones in the School of Education master's across all sorts of fields. There are plenty of students ages 25 and older, some in their 30's as well. Being 30 is nothing to be worried about. I don't even realize some of those in my cohort are nearing their 30's while I'm just beginning my 20's. The field unites us. 

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I am going to be 24 when I'll start my MSW. I think most people are going to be older from what I know of my program.

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This is a completely different field, but I started an M.Div. at a seminary when I was 20.  I am now beginning a Ph.D. program in my late 30's.  I am amazed that despite my years out of academia, I seem to be so much more able to think about high level things than I was during my master's (and I was a pretty decent student then).  There are a lot of advantages brought by maturity, and I am choosing to focus on those.  I haven't entered the program yet, and it may be weird knowing that some of the junior faculty is younger than I am, but the professors I will be working with are older and established and I am looking forward to learning from them all.  

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21-22. Straight out of undergrad. I firmly believe the added maturity would allow one to extract so much more value out of the course - both in terms of networking and learning.

 

I remember attending a major conference last year with my Prof. and a few other colleagues. 

Us younger students huddled together whilst 'older' guys were mature enough to network and socialise.

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I started my program when I was 22, but there was a large age range in my cohort. I wouldn't worry about age! No one really cares about age as long as you are competent! 

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I will be 27. I'm especially grateful I didn't invest the time/money in any of my prior professional interests at the graduate level.

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I took 8 years off between my undergrad and my master's. I started at 32, and now that I'm 37, I'm happily enjoying life as a PhD candidate. My take-away on having been in school for a while: (note, I'm also in a different field like @mdivgirl above)

  • Perspective - I didn't quit my good job in another field, sell my house, and move across the country just for kicks. This is a degree that I wanted with a solid end-goal in mind. 
  • I took some classes and read a lot about my current field while not officially in school. This essentially gave me several homework-free classes.
  • I didn't really get any negativity with age - from my observations, age discrimination doesn't really start in the academy until you're older, like 50+ (some of my colleagues had a hard time relating to professors significantly younger than them & the reverse is also true). 
  • I also found that, as the oldest person in my cohort, I was able to learn a ton from the younger students - like educational technologies I didn't have in undergrad, books and authors I've never heard of, new music, and cultural perspectives; they also had a good ear to critique me when I wasn't being "relevant." I also had the opportunity to serve as a bit of a cultural resource too, since unlike others in my cohort, I've lived and worked abroad, I'm married and have children, I used to own my house, etc.

What I'm saying is that you'll be fine. Go for it and best wishes on your endeavors.

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I was 27 when I started my master degree. I would say that half of the students were around 22-23 (fresh out of undergrad), and the other half were between 25 and 55. Many people come back to school after a few years working. 

 

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Started the Masters at 52, finishing it now at 55 - The last class is tonight.

The PhD is being started in September - still at 55, but I figure that I will be 62 when that is complete.

 

 

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I already have two master's degrees, but I'm entering into my PhD program (and opting for an MA in the process because it gives me more years of guaranteed funding) at age 27. I know people who are beginning their programs at all ages, from 22 to the late fifties. In my last master's program, we had a classmate whose CHILD was my age.

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