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    Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Do any of you have your Masters or PhD? If so, in what and what do you do for a job?

    Any regrets or changes you would make from when you got them?

    I am getting my MBA in May and am strongly considering applying for the PhD programs in Business or Higher Education. Advice?


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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    I have a Masters in Adult Education and I don't use it in the least.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    I have an MBA from Drake. I have my own CPA firm.

    However, before returning to public accounting, the MBA opened many doors. Even though I thought the coursework for the MBA was much easier than the ISU undergrad, I found it to be very applicable to the positions I held. I can't speak to the PhD.

    In any case, the MBA clearly opened some doors for me and it adds a lot of credibility.


    ISU fans are the greatest in the world. All they ask for is hope and the belief that we have a chance to win every time we step on the field - Johnny Majors (paraphrased)

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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    I'm just finishing up my master's in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Geotechnical Engineering. I decided to get my master's because you have to have a master's degree to be a Geotechnial Engineer. I haven't regretted a moment of it.

    I've actually just taken a job with a large contractor in Omaha, NE. I will be designing temporary structures (tower crane foundations, earth retaining structures, etc.) for construction purposes.

    I originally wanted to go right into my PhD, but after a year of research, I've decided that's not for me. I'm content to take my master's and go into practice. I guess it's a preference for practical knowledge versus theoretical knowledge. I think the master's degree is the new undergrad degree. It used to be that a college degree got you ahead, but now a larger portion of Americans have college degrees so you need a master's to be above the status quo.


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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by throwittoblythe View Post
    I originally wanted to go right into my PhD, but after a year of research, I've decided that's not for me. I'm content to take my master's and go into practice. I guess it's a preference for practical knowledge versus theoretical knowledge. I think the master's degree is the new undergrad degree. It used to be that a college degree got you ahead, but now a larger portion of Americans have college degrees so you need a master's to be above the status quo.
    I think a lot of that depends on your field, though. For example, I completed my undergrad in 4 years with a degree in Technical Communication and went straight to work without any problems. I could go back and get a Master's in Rhetoric and Professional Communication, but that would not amplify my prospects in the job market at all because of the nature of the work. A master's degree for me means very little, unless I wanted to get into academia.

    My fiance is an archaeologist, and she needs to have at least a PhD to have any sort of stable work. With a Bachelor's or Master's degree, she is stuck bouncing from project to project without much career direction. For her, it's all about getting the doctorate.

    Just a couple examples. Overall, I agree that master's degrees are becoming more important for finding good work, but that's not necessarily true for every field.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    I'm 1.5 years from finishing up my PhD (its a 5.5 year program) in Pharmacology & Cancer Biology. I love it and don't regret it at all. After I'm done I will do a post-doc for a few years and then hopefully get my own lab at a university or institute somewhere. If that doesn't work out then I will likely go into industry....typically doing research at a pharmaceutical company or something like that.

    In the biomedical research field you've basically gotta have a PhD to have any control over your career at all. You can be a lab tech with a BS or Masters, but you've got a relatively low ceiling, especially if you're not really that into the industry thing. That's not what I wanted, so I'm plugging away to the PhD.

    The nice thing about getting a PhD in biomedical research is that you get paid to do so and I will have no student loans from graduate school. Its not much, but it is enough to get by.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Getting a Ph.D. just because it's there is not a reason to go that route. I started masters coursework nearly 20 years after getting my B.S. It was the right time in my career and current job, and the coursework in the program I chose was great for what I do. Even 10 years ago I would have said I'd never get a M.S. Now I'm careful to say that I'm pretty sure I won't get a Ph.D., because I've learned that absolutes leave no choice, especially when we wish we had one.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    I am also getting my MBA in May (from St. Ambrose in Davenport). I currently am a technical writer, but I hope to become a Logistics Management Specialist when I grow up


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    Maria Sharapova: Don't you beat up other guys for a living? I don't know how to answer this.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Or you can do like me. Go back for three extra years in college not to earn an advanced degree, but merely a license. And then work in a career that start you at $27,000 where raises are entirely seniority based/not at all merit based. Brilliant!



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta View Post
    Or you can do like me. Go back for three extra years in college not to earn an advanced degree, but merely a license. And then work in a career that start you at $27,000 where raises are entirely seniority based/not at all merit based. Brilliant!
    Are you also a Government employee?


    Chuck Lidell: I paint my toenails with pink and black polish. Problem is, I get more paint on my toes and on the carpet than on my nails. Any advice?
    Maria Sharapova: Don't you beat up other guys for a living? I don't know how to answer this.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    Are you also a Government employee?
    Teacher.

    Some days I think about my choices:
    - I chose to go back to school for three years and do a lot of hoop jumping for no advanced degree.
    - I chose a career that doesn't take into account my previous one and pays me half of what I left at.
    - I choose to work with teenagers. Voluntarily.

    And then I think, I'm the one guiding the minds of the future?



  12. #12
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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta View Post
    Teacher.

    Some days I think about my choices:
    - I chose to go back to school for three years and do a lot of hoop jumping for no advanced degree.
    - I chose a career that doesn't take into account my previous one and pays me half of what I left at.
    - I choose to work with teenagers. Voluntarily.

    And then I think, I'm the one guiding the minds of the future?
    Just help push them over the edge into angry emo cynics and call it a day.



  13. #13
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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    I have an MBA in Finance/Accounting from Indiana. I work as an Equity Portfolio Manager at a Pension Fund / High Net Worth Money Manager in St. Louis.

    A PHD would be a waste for me, but I have achieved a CFA designation.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta View Post
    Teacher.

    Some days I think about my choices:
    - I chose to go back to school for three years and do a lot of hoop jumping for no advanced degree.
    - I chose a career that doesn't take into account my previous one and pays me half of what I left at.
    - I choose to work with teenagers. Voluntarily.

    And then I think, I'm the one guiding the minds of the future?
    Become a government employee. You'd be surprised how many people that are former teachers or are straight out of college with teachers' degrees that are working here as Army civilians. A lot of the problems you were talking about in your earlier post, but the pay is a lot better than teaching...


    Chuck Lidell: I paint my toenails with pink and black polish. Problem is, I get more paint on my toes and on the carpet than on my nails. Any advice?
    Maria Sharapova: Don't you beat up other guys for a living? I don't know how to answer this.



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    Re: Masters/PhD - what do you do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta View Post
    Or you can do like me. Go back for three extra years in college not to earn an advanced degree, but merely a license. And then work in a career that start you at $27,000 where raises are entirely seniority based/not at all merit based. Brilliant!
    You must be a teacher.

    oops, I didn't read down far enoough.



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