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Old 04-11-2015, 08:44 AM
 
Location: USA
25 posts, read 24,293 times
Reputation: 25

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I'm a college graduate with a Bachelors in Psychology (cue the "worthless degree" comments) and I'm debating what I ultimately want to do with it.

I've considered just finding work with it (and even had a couple of interviews for really good jobs), but so far nothing has come of it. Even though, yes, it is possible to find work with just a Bachelors in Psych.

The only other option I can really think of is going back to school. Even though this is the one that I'm leaning towards, the severe lack of money is what is really the deciding factor in which I will ultimately do.

I could go to graduate school for a couple of years and obtain a Masters. This is the most common option, but it is also insanely expensive. I would more than likely have to do loans (assuming there are no grants or scholarships that pertain to me), but I really don't want to go further into debt. Granted, I have less debt ($17,000) as opposed to other people my age who have just their Bachelors ($58,000; $80,000; and a whopping $100,000 for a few people I know), but student loan debt is just no fun.

Another option is to do a post-graduate certification. They're not as expensive, are basically an equivalent to a Masters, and take a year or less to get. The only issue I can think of is that the fields one can go for a bit more limited than one can get with a Masters.

What say you: go straight for a Masters degree? Or a Post-Graduate certification?

Or heck, maybe even a third option: just go into a trade/union.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:58 AM
 
5,643 posts, read 5,106,164 times
Reputation: 10150
I would get a job and work a few years, taking the time to figure out what you really want to do. THEN go back and get a masters or a certificate or whatever is appropriate for my newly chosen goals.

Masters are really for narrowing in on a very specific field, often preparing to be a manager in that subset. They work best when you are building on your strengths and your real passion/interest/talent for the subject. They also work better for employment afterwards when paired with actual work experience.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Ohio
229 posts, read 255,367 times
Reputation: 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Mind View Post
I'm a college graduate with a Bachelors in Psychology (cue the "worthless degree" comments) and I'm debating what I ultimately want to do with it.

I've considered just finding work with it (and even had a couple of interviews for really good jobs), but so far nothing has come of it. Even though, yes, it is possible to find work with just a Bachelors in Psych.

The only other option I can really think of is going back to school. Even though this is the one that I'm leaning towards, the severe lack of money is what is really the deciding factor in which I will ultimately do.

I could go to graduate school for a couple of years and obtain a Masters. This is the most common option, but it is also insanely expensive. I would more than likely have to do loans (assuming there are no grants or scholarships that pertain to me), but I really don't want to go further into debt. Granted, I have less debt ($17,000) as opposed to other people my age who have just their Bachelors ($58,000; $80,000; and a whopping $100,000 for a few people I know), but student loan debt is just no fun.

Another option is to do a post-graduate certification. They're not as expensive, are basically an equivalent to a Masters, and take a year or less to get. The only issue I can think of is that the fields one can go for a bit more limited than one can get with a Masters.

What say you: go straight for a Masters degree? Or a Post-Graduate certification?

Or heck, maybe even a third option: just go into a trade/union.
I'm not sure this is true.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:03 AM
 
Location: USA
25 posts, read 24,293 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
I would get a job and work a few years, taking the time to figure out what you really want to do. THEN go back and get a masters or a certificate or whatever is appropriate for my newly chosen goals.

Masters are really for narrowing in on a very specific field, often preparing to be a manager in that subset. They work best when you are building on your strengths and your real passion/interst/talent for the subject. They also work better for employment afterwards when paired with actual work experience.
I've thought about this too, but there are very little jobs where I live. Which is why I'm strongly considering moving next year. Until then, I'm sticking with my current job in order to save money.

Which actually brings me to this next question: is it really that much more difficult to find a job when you're unemployed?
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:07 AM
 
Location: USA
25 posts, read 24,293 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmamba View Post
I'm not sure this is true.
Fair enough.

It has always just been my impression that they were relatively equivalent. People I've known with post-graduate certificate always seemed to be in just as good job positions as (sometimes even better than) people with a Masters degree. This includes things like project management and running a non-profit business.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,633 posts, read 4,393,337 times
Reputation: 4213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Mind View Post
Fair enough.

It has always just been my impression that they were relatively equivalent. People I've known with post-graduate certificate always seemed to be in just as good job positions as (sometimes even better than) people with a Masters degree. This includes things like project management and running a non-profit business.
I have both a graduate degree and a graduate certificate in two different technical disciplines (related, but not identical, disciplines).

They're not the same. The certificate is typically the minimum coursework-4-5 classes.

The degree is the minimum coursework, plus rounding electives or a track, plus a thesis or project or capstone (depending on the program, and sometimes depending on if it's intended to be a research-oriented academic degree, or a terminal degree).

There's nothing wrong with the certificate. It was worth doing for me, and your rational calculus may tell you that the cost to go for the whole degree is not worth the difference. But it's not the same, nor is it viewed as the same by employers.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:29 AM
 
Location: USA
25 posts, read 24,293 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgiaTransplant View Post
I have both a graduate degree and a graduate certificate in two different technical disciplines (related, but not identical, disciplines).

They're not the same. The certificate is typically the minimum coursework-4-5 classes.

The degree is the minimum coursework, plus rounding electives or a track, plus a thesis or project or capstone (depending on the program, and sometimes depending on if it's intended to be a research-oriented academic degree, or a terminal degree).

There's nothing wrong with the certificate. It was worth doing for me, and your rational calculus may tell you that the cost to go for the whole degree is not worth the difference. But it's not the same, nor is it viewed as the same by employers.
Great to know. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:33 AM
 
5,643 posts, read 5,106,164 times
Reputation: 10150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Mind View Post

Which actually brings me to this next question: is it really that much more difficult to find a job when you're unemployed?
Short answer: yes, it is much harder.

Nuanced answer: under particular circumstances it may not be so bad if you have an understandable reason for being unemployed and you can communicate that reason to potential employers. Recent college grads generally get more leeway, as do trailing spouses, etc. but the longer you go without work the harder it gets as a general rule.
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Old 04-14-2015, 09:40 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,568 posts, read 21,748,544 times
Reputation: 44332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heart&Mind View Post
I'm a college graduate with a Bachelors in Psychology (cue the "worthless degree" comments) and I'm debating what I ultimately want to do with it.

I've considered just finding work with it (and even had a couple of interviews for really good jobs), but so far nothing has come of it. Even though, yes, it is possible to find work with just a Bachelors in Psych.

The only other option I can really think of is going back to school. Even though this is the one that I'm leaning towards, the severe lack of money is what is really the deciding factor in which I will ultimately do.

I could go to graduate school for a couple of years and obtain a Masters. This is the most common option, but it is also insanely expensive. I would more than likely have to do loans (assuming there are no grants or scholarships that pertain to me), but I really don't want to go further into debt. Granted, I have less debt ($17,000) as opposed to other people my age who have just their Bachelors ($58,000; $80,000; and a whopping $100,000 for a few people I know), but student loan debt is just no fun.

Another option is to do a post-graduate certification. They're not as expensive, are basically an equivalent to a Masters, and take a year or less to get. The only issue I can think of is that the fields one can go for a bit more limited than one can get with a Masters.

What say you: go straight for a Masters degree? Or a Post-Graduate certification?

Or heck, maybe even a third option: just go into a trade/union.

One certificate that has a great deal of utility in the work force, and can often be parlayed into a masters degree - especially if that university offers both - is applied behavior analyst.
There is a growing need for people with this certification, because of the increase of people who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

Another growing population that is in need of ABA certified individuals are elderly patients with organic brain syndromes, such as age related dementia.

If you like the work, masters degrees are available.

Google it.
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