If you have two choices of either pursuing education or landing a job, you are fortunate.
But you have to choose anyway. Before making a decision, it is worth investigating what you will get out of graduate degree and what job recruiters are seeking from job candidates.
1. Try for a few years of experience before heading to graduate school
2. When deciding between a general or technical degree, it’s usually best to go the more specific path
3. Analyze the job market in your chosen field of study before you sign that tuition check
4. Look more at the practical experience the program will provide, less at the university name
5. Most employers are skeptical of online degrees
6. Try to work and study at the same time
7. A master’s is sufficient in most cases, except…
8. Once you have a graduate level degree, experience will trump additional degrees
It addresses the importance of professional experience. In my case, I was working at a school while I studied my Masters in International Education. Although those two were not directly connected given that the former is a micro and the latter is a macro, it was still useful to reflect the theories learned from grad school into the classroom level.
Personally I am a big supporter of online program, some people might not prioritize it over the traditional degrees.
【Landing a Job?】
If you take a look at another side of choice-job landing, it is important to know what recruiters are looking for from candidates.
The article “The recruitment dichotomy” points out whether job experience or academic qualification is prioritized by recruiters in the field of international development.
The author decided to explore the prevailing views of the international development community by posing a question to the 40,000+ members of the Devex Group on LinkedIn: “When hiring a consultant in the field of International Development, what are the most important attributes?” The questions and the answers are as follows:
(a) Practical knowledge and field experience : 66%
(b) Academic qualifications in development :2%
(c) Cultural familiarity with the country :5%
(d) Professional experience in related field :22%
(e) Affinity with your organization’s values :3%
That is, there is a tendency that you need more experience than academic degree.
Although it cannot be generalized, the result is understandable and it’s interesting to hear the real voices.
There no exist a fomula of Good Degree= Good Job. In the field of Int’l development, you can’t expect On-the-Job-Training (OJT)–someone trains you after landing a job–so you (I) have to gain some experience and know what to do.