Many Irish students think it is protocol to do a masters straight out of college. I hate to break it to you but it isn't always the thing to do. If you are in a very specific field and doing a masters is going to separate you from the crowd, yes this could work for you. But, if you are heading into the workforce to a job that requires experience you might be better off to get an internship straight off the bat. Then, you will know if it is what you are interested in or maybe you will run a mile. Also, you must remember, masters are extremely expensive. You are either going to owe the bank a lot of money for the next 10 years. Or, if you borrow it off your parents, they will be on your case every 10 seconds and they have right to do so. It is a tricky world out there and you just need to think before you sign up to anything. A masters is a bigger step than you think and you could be forever in debt.
1) Social Norms
Don't just do a masters because everyone else is doing a masters. And, don't do it if you find yourself thinking that it is 'the thing to do'. Ireland is a very small place so people will tend to have similar ideas and outlooks on life. But, don't let others influence your decision. Don't do something just because everyone else is doing it.
2) Questioning It
If you are unsure in any way about your masters defer it for a year. A masters is not like college. It is extremely difficult, so make sure it is what you really want to do. If you do it for the sake of it and drop out you won't be getting a cent back. So, think logically about this one.
3) No Comparison
Don't compare yourself to your friends in this regard. If they can afford it don't assume you can. No one is in the same position in this economy. Make sure you aren't following the crowd and that you really really want this.
4) Financial Situation
Make sure you are financially okay to do a masters. If it is abroad make sure you will be able to cover the fee, rent and expenses. Don't throw yourself into it and then realize how expensive it is going to be. Like most students, if you have to take out a loan for it, get advice from your parents and make sure it is a viable plan to be on. If your parents are paying for it, try to do your best. You owe them at least that.
If you aren't sure whether a Masters is right for you, do an internship in a similar field. Now you will know if the job is for you. And, you will have experience if you decide to do a Masters after. This will give you an edge on other applicants.
A masters might not be your thing. If you are thinking college was stressful enough and you don't need another year or two of the same academia, a masters might be biting off more than you can chew. You then should go full throttle into the workforce. Yes, it is tough times out there and jobs are hard to get, but you can do it.
7) Stick To Your Talents
If there is something your good at, and I mean really good at, try and make a career out of it. Whether it is artistic, musical or whatever it may be, give it a go. If you don't even try, you will regret it so much when you're older. You can always go back and do a masters, but try and do what you really love first.
8) Parental Happiness
It can be hard to say no to your parents sometimes, but don't do a masters just to make them happy. Yes, they might want you to, but they would prefer if you use the money to do something you will actually enjoy. If you don't want to do one, make it clear to your parents early on, you will only cause further disappointment otherwise.
9) Money Saver
You might have to give up your part-time job during your masters, so, money might be short. If your masters is abroad, and you have no money either, you're pretty much dead. So, work all summer and save money before you go.
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