Masters or a JOB?


Hi Guys,
I am in sort of a predicament.
I have an offer for a job thru grad scheme with a wellknown company in supply chain & logistics business -£24k start based in home counties and also a place for MSc-Info Systems at LSE with 50% scholarship on tuition fee - both to start in Sept 09. LSE I can defer to next year but the job I cant.
What are your opinions?
Let me tell you - that job isn’nt my dream job but something I might find interesting but the course is “the course”!
But current economic situation makes me wonder which way should I swing??
The job would keep me contracted for 18 months as well. So i dont think I can leave after an year and take up the masters.


well it depends on how confident you are of finding a job after u graduate, what career sector you want to go into and your academic backround so far? This job doesnt seem anything special but in the current climate u are lucky to get anything and if after your masters (unless u have an amazing backround e.g. oxbridge/banking internships etc etc) if you have ambitions of working in IB it will still be super tough!

are you financially able to support urself during masters without getting into even more debt? If yes then i would opt for lse as when the economy picks up you will be well placed, however r u sure u cant defer and do the job for 12months, maybe double check if u are commiteed to a 18month contract, as tht doesnt seem normal practice.


Why not take Masters as a part-time evening course? A lot of people combine work and their studies towards masters.


Thanks for your valuable input guys.
Debate you definately have put all the points together i appreciate that.
Responsding to “debates” point- well IBs are not really my dream career. i want to work in oil/gas/renewables sector and consultancy. Even if I apply to IBs it will be IT/OPS departments.
I have an IT background -and some good work experience though not with top companys.
Well LSE is as good as Oxbridge if not better, and I am not getting into a huge debt. As I didnt take any student loan for my final year graduate( used money from my work savings) I have taken 7K student loan to use it for the masters, and some 3-4K help from my parents.
I will speak to the HR lady to discuss deferring my entry, that will be worth it.

Doing part time masters is not an option, as this course is not offered part time because of heavy work load.


Ok well see if you can defer for one yr, but just to warn u stick with the consultancy route as i am currently working in operations for a top bank and its the most boring/unskilled and pointless job out there, dnt get attracted to the employer over the job itself!



Well, if I was in the situation that I should choose between studying master or undertaking job in the area that I am qualified I would certainly go for job. Because what can happen is, when you choose to study towards some qualification it certainly is gunna be valuable for your future career and you may get the job but if you choose to take the job offer I thin that’s better because you can study master’s degree while working and also if you would make good reputation in the company you might be offered permanent place. So from my point of view it’s better deal to go for the job.


The original post for this thread was written 100 years ago, but I know that lots of people reading now (Nov 2010) will be wrestling with a similar dilemma (job vs study) so I figure I’ll add my thoughts!

First of all, it’s important to be clear that more qualifications does not necessarily equal a better chance of getting a job, or a better chance of getting a better job, or a better-paid job! (these are all different things, and common assumptions among those who have just finished their undergraduate studies).

Secondly, the stats seem to suggest that during this recession further study is a very tempting alternative to battling to find a graduate job. I can see why this is the case but this worries me. If all these grads are making informed decisions and are signing up to courses that they KNOW will increase their employability later, then great. But I fear this is not the case. I fear many make this decision because they’re flattered to be offered a place, it offers some ‘security’ for the next year (or at least something to tell their parents they’re doing!) and it means they can put off job hunting for another year, delaying become a ‘wage slave’ and also offering the chance to ‘wait out’ the recession, assuming things will be brighter this time next year.

In my opinion, none of these are good enough reasons to ‘invest’ in postgraduate study that you HOPE is a good idea. In this climate, I think people should ONLY do further study if they are SURE that a year (or however long) of studying is more valuable than a year of working - and gaining experience. Studying, you pay for. Working, you get paid. Maths was never my strong point, but one of those looks much more attractive to me than the other ; ) Also, it is worth remembering that there are no guarantees that the job market will be better this time next year. It could be worse - we just don’t know!

If anyone reading this is struggling with the job vs study dilemma, you’ll find this article helpful: “How to Decide about Further Study”

Best of luck!

Tanya de Grunwald