Is a masters degree worth pursuing?

School owl

I can’t believe it has been 8 years since I received my GCSE results, 5 years since I received my A-Level results and 2 years since I graduated from university with a BA in Journalism.

UCA DEGREE CERTIFICATE

But after all that hard work of revision, coursework deadlines and research assignments, I’m still unemployed. Why? I don’t know!

Since graduating in 2016, I’ve applied for over 100 jobs. Some of them, my applications were successful and I was invited to interviews and others I wasn’t even considered for.

It got me thinking what is the point of having educational qualifications? You could get A’s in everything and still not get a job then on the other hand you could get poor grades and still secure a job.

Also I do have a lot of work experience and carry out a lot of voluntary and freelance work but still not enough to get employed.

In addition, due to my disabilities, it’s not like I can do any old job in a supermarket or restaurant. My skills are within writing and media!

Personally, I think schools and colleges should do more to educate students in applying for jobs and interview techniques. It’s all good having the academic skills but what about the life skills? Plus more employers should provide individual feedback to applicants so that we know what to improve on in future applications.

Earlier this year, I applied for several media internships and was unsuccessful in all of them. Since then, I’ve slightly lost confidence applying for future jobs.

Keep calm and get a masters degree

I’m now pursuing the idea of doing a masters degree next year but still unsure if it would be worth it and if it would improve my employment prospects. Plus I’m not really sure which area to study. I’m torn between journalism, creative writing, digital media and marketing. I do know I want to continue living in my current house so only looking at universities in the Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset and West Sussex areas. I’ve already booked myself to attend open days at Southampton Solent, Bournemouth and Chichester so far.

What do you think of master degrees? Are they worth pursuing? Maybe you’ve completed one yourself and now in employment as a result? I would really appreciate your advice!

Please share your thoughts in the comments box or on social media.

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16 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m not sure what your uni was like but Derby has a huge career-focus atmosphere while still being friendly. They encourage you to go to the career hub to get your CV looked at and to practice university techniques as well as building a network of people in your chosen career.

    They’ve recently started an MA in Creative Writing with different pathways. I’m doing my masters next year and am planning to use the career hub more.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How frustrating to apply for so many jobs and not get hired! i admire your persistence. Maybe your blog will lead to some job opportunities — since it demonstrates your writing abilities, shares some of your passions, shows that you can take initiative, etc. i dropped out of college, and all of the jobs i have had since then have been the result of personal connections… Often it’s not what you know but who you know that leads to an employment opportunity. I can’t comment on the pros and cons of getting a masters degree (since I don’t even have an undergraduate degree), but I will continue following your blog with interest to see what you decide, what you learn, and perhaps most importantly who you meet in the upcoming weeks and months…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow that’s so annoying to go to school and get a degree but apply for so many jobs not to get any! I really hope it all works out whether you go to get a masters degree or not, I love that you haven’t given up and how persistent you are, so keep going!
    I’m still new to blogging, would really appreciate if you checked out my site! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have just written about this on my blog! I’d love to do an MA in Children’s Literature (Online) but I’m not sure it’s the right time for me to do it. You can get a student loan for a Masters, I think, of just over £10,000. I know some others that are doing their Masters due to being made redundant. I think you should go for it! I’ve ummed and arred about doing mine for many years now. The course I’m looking at gives careers advice and the tutors can point students in the right direction, with regards to getting your work published (from what I’ve read). I think having an MA can only be a positive thing. Good luck, whatever you decide 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for popping over to read my blog post. For the Masters I would like to do, it is completely online. It is the Children’s Literature course at Roehampton. It contains elements of creative writing too. There are courses via the Open University that are completely online too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Have you ever thought about doing freelance work? There are lots of websites or magazines that would pay you for writing articles. That might be an option. Plus being freelance you can set your own hours and even work from home. I have a Masters in global environmental change but I’m not sure if I want to go into work in the environmental sector. I preferred the idea of working from home via the Internet. But saying that having a Masters in a relevant subject to the job you are applying for is another thing that you can put on your CV to make yourself stand out. If you do decide to do a masters I recommend doing it part-time. I did mine part-time over 2 years and it was a lot less hectic than it would have been full-time. In fact it was much more laid-back than my undergraduate degree!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alex, thanks for your comment. I’ve done a small amount of freelance in the past but not sure which publications that suite my experience can provide paid work. Plus I would rather have a consisted wage rather than as and when i find jobs. Also I dont like the idea of chasing payments. Can you (or anyone else reading this) suggest any publication that offer good reliable paid freelance work?

      Like

  6. Hi,

    Sorry to hear about your negative experiences.
    I know a lot of people with disabilities who find it hard to ge ttheir first job, The good news is, once you have a job career progression usually gets easier.
    I speak a foreign language, so got a job very easily. However, I struggle to find a job that is completely accessible to someone with a vision impairment.
    here are a few tips.

    – a master is worth it if you choose something that is carrer orientated.
    – get someone to give you feedback on your CV and cover letters e.g. career guidance. Some colleges also provide that for past students.
    – career coacing e.g. mock interviews
    – In Ireland job centers and some disability organisations offer career workshops, I’m sure there are similar services in Britain.
    – Unless you have accessibility needs which require planning, you are not legally required to tell an employer about your disability until they offer you a job.
    I use a white cane when going to interviews, so it becomes obvious, but I don’t disclose in my application. If recruiters have a closer look at my work experiences and volunteering they may figure it out, but a lot of them don’t pay much attention to detail.
    – Interviewers should ask every applicant the same questions to keep rating scores. They can ask you how you do the work with special equipment, but the interview cannot centre around your disability.
    – You can always ask for feedback after the interview. You are also entitled to see your rating score.

    I’m no career expert, but this is what I’ve learned while job hunting.

    Don’t give up and perhaps a master is a good idea. Just ask yourself how it will help your career before you pick a course.

    good luck

    Tina

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t let the unsuccessful job applications put you off, maybe it’s divine right timing and your ideal job is just waiting for you hence the wait. I did a masters degree in Developmental Psychology and Therapeutic Play which did really help in my line of work but it really depends I suppose on the course and it’s content. I hope the open days gives you more inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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