T Nation

Getting Masters Degree Too Soon?


#1

I'm a BBA student graduating within a year and I've been doing some planning/calculating, and according to my current rate of progress I should be able to get my MBA by the time I'm 25/turning 26.

My question is: am I rushing it? Is this too soon?

My fear is that I won't have enough work experience to go with my degree, in comparison to other graduates. I am already the youngest person I know (at least in my school) finishing up the BBA and my peers have noticeably more work exp. than I do because they are older than me.

I have obviously never done a masters degree before so I don't really know exactly the caliber of people that I will be studying with, but my assumption is that they will be in their late 20's/maybe 30, with lots of work experience. My biggest fear is graduating and not having enough work experience in comparison to other people with the same level of education, making it very hard for me to get a job.

To other people who have actually got higher level education, how much does work exp. matter vs masters degree? Is 25/26 too young for a masters degree graduate (business)?

Thank you.


#2

Have you looked into interning while you're in school? Great way to get experience while you study


#3

Most MBA programs require a minimum of 2 years work experience with the average being about 5 years. The classes tend to be pretty diverse though.

You need to get an internship as the above poster mentioned. Figure out what you want to do and offer to intern for free if you have to. It will be very difficult to find a job if you don't have an internship.

25/26 isn't necessarily too young it just depends on your prior work experience.


#4

I went your route and I'm an attention whore for saying this apparently but it's on topic here, once again, and I'm doing very well.

The job market is absolutely competitive. As it stands you will enter it with a bachelor's degree and no experience or a Masters and no experience.

There are many positions at reputable companies in large industries who won't even hire Bachelors anymore.

My advice would be to pick an industry as if you were going straight to work and then go get your masters. Join collegiate and professional networking groups pertainin to your industry of interest as you work on your degree, if you can land a job even better. Be ready for long nights though...

Older dudes love to help us out when they see fit. It's basically a phenomenon that we will probably understand when we get there some day. By networking outside of a university setting, you will meet people casually who will see, recognize and respect your ambition.

Develop relationships and with an MBA to prove your smarts alongside your balls, they will help you find a job. Always network with people who are where you want to be. Your peers are fine, exposure is always good, but they can't really help you.

But yes, an MBA is a smart idea. It's one more step above competition.

Just make sure you can manage your debt...


#5

Although it was in a different field, I went straight from a bachelors into a masters at 23. And was finished with the Masters at 25. Remember that experience trumps a degree, but once you have that masters degree in your hand, you will be more likely to get the job over somebody without one but with equal experience as you.

To gain experience, I worked as a graduate assistant at the university while going to school, and landed a job shortly after. On a sidenote of awesome, the chair of my thesis was a former powerlifter who loved talking shop about "amateur chemistry" and how it pertains to mixing and matching certain anabolic compounds to get that squat, deadlift and bench up.


#6

I was always told that the mba is kinda useless without the work experience. Maybe times have changed.

I am currently studying for my gmat. Its definatley not fun, I am trying to get a 700 or so for programs like NYU, UNC etc..

I don't even know that my 2 years (currently) 3 years of experience when I apply to these would be enough.

I would say to the OP, think hard about what you want to do and why you NEED an mba. Gaining experience is the most important with a business degree. Alot of companies will hire their interns.


#7

most people have a masters before they are 25... so your fine.... however, like others said, why not start interning / co-oping


#8

don't mean to diverge, but the chair of my econ dept. is a former powerlifter too .. he's a great guy all around too, he's written a couple letters of req for me and helps me out whenever I need it.


#9

It definitely makes meetings funner to take a 20 minute sidetrack on powerlifting rather than spending an hour straight talking academics.


#10

It really depends on what you want out of the MBA. It matters for some fields, but not for others. The debt load is pretty expensive. The good schools require work experience because it often takes time to gain perspective.

You can only get one MBA, and once you start a program, the higher ranked schools will not let you transfer in from someplace else.

As Warren Buffet said, there are two main reasons to get an MBA: the connections/network and the job opportunities when you graduate. Work experience still matters, so all things being equal, when you graduate and you are looking for a job, you will compete better with more experience.

Without knowing more information about your background, aspirations, etc., I would recommend waiting. It might give you a better shot of getting into the good schools. Age is a consideration in acceptance.