AIBU to consider doing a masters?(14 Posts)
I want to further my career and look into developmental psychology and a masters would get me a bit closer. I work p/t so thinking of doing it through the OU. DH is supportive and will help where he can. My main worry is I have 3 DC's age 5 and under which makes things tricky and the money aspect too. I just can't see how I'm going to get where I want to be any other way. Am I crazy for even contemplating this??
I did my Msc pre kids, it was hard, I woukd wait until they are a bit older tbh.
My DD did a Masters full time at a university and it was very hard work even for her, living at home with no children. I agree it might be prudent to wait a while
As per the Autumn financial statement, they are starting funding for student finance for postgraduate studies I think next year or the year after which will work like the existing student finance system for undergrad studies - this will be a huge help. They are also increasing the age to qualify from 30-60 I think. This is from memory so details may vary slightly but definitely worth looking into!
I completed mine as a lone parent of two DCs (5&7). Nearly killed myself initially trying to do a part-time job too. Gave up the job pretty quickly.
I got into the habit of studying at night and sleeping when I could. It's certainly doable but tough.
Aside from the children issue, are you definitely sure that the Masters would further things for you? Outside of academia, postgrad qualifications in the social sciences are often not particularly useful career-wise, unless they're obviously vocational.
Before going into it I would have similar concerns to upsy. Make sure the course will actually help career wise before going for it. Great that you have dp support and are obviously going in eyes wide open to a lot of hard work xxx
I've done a PG Cert and a PG Dip by distance learning (though not OU), both after having DC though I only have two children. I work full time. DL masters usually take 3 years though I spread it out more than that - the cert is equivalent to 1/3 of a masters, for the dip I did all the masters taught courses (so just not the dissertation). The DCs were between zero (I started the second course while on mat leave with DC2) and eight. I also have a masters from pre-DCs.
Am potentially being made redundant so thinking about another masters for a proper career change, this time would be FT. DCs are nine and six and I am confident this is doable - obviously they are way more self sufficient at this age but when they are small in theory you should have evenings to work...
Make sure that the masters WILL improve your career prospects as many won't.
I did a masters full time at uni whilst working almost full time (I averaged 34hours oa week over the years in career role. It would be worth looking at the time commitment of full time masters, as I found I was only in uni 6ish hours a week and could fit the 'self directed learning' on around work/ life.
My IH has just finished his masters (1year full time- 2full days in uni) whilst working 3 days as a teacher.
So it's totally doable but I'd say look at full time courses as 1 year of sacrifice and hard graft is easier in the long run than 3or 6 years part time where you can lose momentum/ feel like it's never ending/ no longer worth it.
I tried to do a Masters by distance learning whilst teaching full time, but I had to stop after a year as it was putting too much of a burden on my DP to look after our young children.
Thank you for your replies!
Looking at the steps to where I want to be it would seem you need to go down the masters then PhD route. So far I haven't found an alternative.
Definitely going in eyes open, rather stupidly I decided to have my first two DC's while at uni full time so I got fairly good at juggling. I'll investigate the finance changes a pp mentioned (apologies I didn't see who it was).
In honesty I'd probably be looking to start in another year or two as DS and DD1 will be at school, DD2 will be 2 or 3, plus at the moment my job works really well with the kids (5 mornings term time). Lots to think about!
I agree you should delay it.
Meanwhile, though, you could check the curricula and start brushing up on basics or reading more advanced stuff. It should make it easier for you when you actually start the Master's.
Are you hoping to work in a research post OP? Otherwise a psychology PhD won't qualify you for applied work.
My understanding with developmental psych is that you need a PhD. So I guess you should really be thinking whether you have the stomach for the 1+3 (MA +PhD) not just the MA. In some ways, this is as much a question about your independence, drive, and strength of will as about your intellectual aptitude.
Now, there's no reason you can't go for all this while you have children. I have several friends who did this. It might be easier at a bricks-and-mortar uni and not the OU, because a 'real' uni will recognise the needs of parents with children and often have free or low cost help in place. It's worth checking this out carefully, as it could make all the difference! (Also, look into about studying abroad, in places like Denmark that have excellent free state childcare. Most lectures are in English - everyone speaks it perfectly, and costs may be lower!)
I suspect finances are a huge issue here. You need to be honest with yourself about what your chances are of getting a scholarship to do the PhD (or other sources of funding) - because otherwise it could be bruisingly expensive.
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