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Education Getting a Second Master's Degree
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BoiBoi Offline
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Getting a Second Master's Degree
I'm in my early 30's have a Master's in langauges and business administration. I speak 4 languages and am a certified project manager.
Nevertheless, I haven't been able to score a "good" job with real career prospects since I graduated college almost 3 years ago. All I got were some rather precarious temp contracts to pay my bills.

A couple of months ago, I applied at a local college for an engineering programm with special emphasis on energy and natural ressources and got the acceptance letter last week. The programm takes 3-4 semesters and has to be done full-time.

I'm based in Europe, so college is free. I have to pay my living expenses, though. Also, by the time I finish, I almost would be 34-35 with no fancy names on my resume.

Question is, would you go back to school?
09-18-2014 01:39 PM
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komatiite Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
How can you just hop into an engineering masters with no engineering undergrad? Won't you have to catch up with at least two years of chem, calculus, diff eqs, physics, statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermo, engineering economics and strengths? Plus relevant petroleum engineerig core classes like reservoir, completions, petrophysics, sedimentology, drilling, production, etc ???

Either way if you learn all that in the program and get a Masters out of it then I say go for it. You'll learn some relevant skills and with your linguistic background you will be able to fuck off and work all over the world.

Just make sure it is accredited and not a scam because this sounds too good to be true- in North America you would not be able to hop into a Masters of eng without a strong scientific background...
09-18-2014 03:04 PM
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Wahawahwah Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
At your age, I'd suggest networking your ass off instead.

What are your goals?

If youre going for the knowledge aspect, there are different ways to learn the most subject matter and get up to speed online or in part time courses.

Why do you want to take yourself out of the job market for a couple of years just to get a master's which may only have regional significance?

With degrees, the law of diminishing returns really starts to hit after advanced programs like your first Master's, especially if its not from a top place.

(This post was last modified: 09-18-2014 03:11 PM by Wahawahwah.)
09-18-2014 03:07 PM
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komatiite Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Sharkie brings up some good points for sure. I'm sort of reconsidering my "go for it" comment... Why are you interested in the oil business, it's very unforgiving and Hard to crack into if you have no prior experience. It's one thing getting into the labour side on drilling rigs etc but are you expecting to finish your degree with a nice Reservoir Engineer position right off the bat? Even with the degree expect a long stint doing field work afterwards.
09-18-2014 03:35 PM
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Peregrine Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Don't do it. It will only make your CV look worse. "Hey look at this guy, couldn't find a job so he went back to school."

Do what sharkie said: double down on finding work.
09-18-2014 05:17 PM
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The_CEO Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Depends what your field and specific career objectives are.

As a Masters is only a couple of years, I think you could do it and also network and even work simultaneously. A lot of people do.

You are going to be 35 years old anyway. When you are, will be glad that you have (or disappointed that you don't have) a 2nd Masters?
09-18-2014 05:21 PM
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BoiBoi Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(09-18-2014 03:04 PM)komatiite Wrote:  How can you just hop into an engineering masters with no engineering undergrad? Won't you have to catch up with at least two years of chem, calculus, diff eqs, physics, statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermo, engineering economics and strengths? Plus relevant petroleum engineerig core classes like reservoir, completions, petrophysics, sedimentology, drilling, production, etc ???

Either way if you learn all that in the program and get a Masters out of it then I say go for it. You'll learn some relevant skills and with your linguistic background you will be able to fuck off and work all over the world.

Just make sure it is accredited and not a scam because this sounds too good to be true- in North America you would not be able to hop into a Masters of eng without a strong scientific background...

Yeah, I have to take thermo, construction, technical mechanics etc. but after the 2 years I would be an engineer. This is exactly why I applied for the program in the first place. The college also is legit and fully accredited.

Basically, what I intend to get out of the program is sort of a career reset, since my first attempt didnt really bear any fruits yet. I was able to land jobs, just not the kind of jobs I liked.
It's not primarily over money, but rather I want to gain leverage by learning some relevant skills which combined with my language abilities should take me places.

Of course, I know that it wont be an easy ride and much less a golden ticket to a secure future.
(This post was last modified: 09-18-2014 07:19 PM by BoiBoi.)
09-18-2014 06:45 PM
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clever alias Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
4 semesters? that sounds.suspicious. usually its 4 semester THEN the masters

nothing wrong with trying to jump fields at 35. lots of people do it. youll just be the old man in entry positions is all unless you go really niche
09-18-2014 09:04 PM
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Wreckingball Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(09-18-2014 09:04 PM)clever alias Wrote:  4 semesters? that sounds.suspicious. usually its 4 semester THEN the masters

nothing wrong with trying to jump fields at 35. lots of people do it. youll just be the old man in entry positions is all unless you go really niche

In Europe works differently.
After your 3 year bachelors you can (and should) do a 2 year masters. So here is 6 semesters, then the masters.
Or you can also do 5 year "integrated masters".
09-19-2014 04:19 PM
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clever alias Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(09-19-2014 04:19 PM)Wreckingball Wrote:  
(09-18-2014 09:04 PM)clever alias Wrote:  4 semesters? that sounds.suspicious. usually its 4 semester THEN the masters

nothing wrong with trying to jump fields at 35. lots of people do it. youll just be the old man in entry positions is all unless you go really niche

In Europe works differently.
After your 3 year bachelors you can (and should) do a 2 year masters. So here is 6 semesters, then the masters.
Or you can also do 5 year "integrated masters".

yeah but he's talking about doing a masters in something he does not have a bachelors in. in theory, he should be doing a lot of prerequired courses before even starting
09-19-2014 04:22 PM
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tallglassofmilk Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
I can't speak for Europe, but in USA, you get an extra 10k/yr for doing the same work because you are an engineer. Or rather people won't pay you more than the next guy will and people don't hire nonengineers to do engineering work (even if they are perfectly competent). Just one more data point to consider.
11-12-2014 02:41 PM
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Phoenix Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Question: do you have to be based in Europe?

A master in languages may not be in demand in Europe, but it could be in huge demand elsewhere.
Something to consider.
11-13-2014 01:08 PM
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BoiBoi Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(11-13-2014 01:08 PM)Phoenix Wrote:  Question: do you have to be based in Europe?

A master in languages may not be in demand in Europe, but it could be in huge demand elsewhere.
Something to consider.

I've thought about relocation, but you know, it's kind of tough to get a real job in a country without already living there. Especially, if it's located outside of the EU. Funny enough though, just yesterday I landed a job interview for a gig in Latin America. Let's see what they have to offer.

Anyhow, the new semester already started here and while classes are demanding, it's great to learn new stuff. Never really thought about thermodynamics, but that shit is fascinating.
(This post was last modified: 11-13-2014 02:07 PM by BoiBoi.)
11-13-2014 02:06 PM
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Phoenix Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Well since you posted this question on RVF, I'll assume you want some unrestrained advice/opinions, so:

Given how hard you've said it is to get a job in your own region with your qualifications, to the extent that you're attempting to study something completely different and unrelated, I submit that "no, it is not harder".

Secondly, my thoughts on engineering as a career are well covered here:
http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-41299-...52407.html

It is easy to just "study something". I've seen it time and time again. You have all the Americans graduating with their expensive useless degrees, just to say "they went to college" and "have a degree". What was the actual benefit? Worse than zero. Burdensome debt (not a problem in your case), and irreplaceable years.
There are the guys I know who went on to do higher degrees instead of getting a job. They almost all have the same personalities: unambitious and clueless. They don't want the stress and responsibility of going out and getting the job they want, or they are afraid to venture into that unknown. They prefer the comfort, structure, perceived safety, and leisurely pace of studying. They never want to leave school.
I'm not saying this is you, but this is my criticism of 'just studying, hoping it will make things better'.

If I were in your position, with a masters in languages, and experience in project managing, I would be searching and researching far and wide for anywhere that skill combination was in demand. And I would not be hesitating to buy the air fare.

I would only be studying another degree with the strictest of scrutiny, pursuant to the question: "is there proven extra employability, pay, and career progression to be offered from the combination of 'masters in language, project management experience, and degree X' over the combination 'masters in language, project management experience', factoring in the years lost from studying degree X".
11-14-2014 11:01 AM
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BoiBoi Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(11-14-2014 11:01 AM)Phoenix Wrote:  Well since you posted this question on RVF, I'll assume you want some unrestrained advice/opinions, so:

Given how hard you've said it is to get a job in your own region with your qualifications, to the extent that you're attempting to study something completely different and unrelated, I submit that "no, it is not harder".

Secondly, my thoughts on engineering as a career are well covered here:
http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-41299-...52407.html

It is easy to just "study something". I've seen it time and time again. You have all the Americans graduating with their expensive useless degrees, just to say "they went to college" and "have a degree". What was the actual benefit? Worse than zero. Burdensome debt (not a problem in your case), and irreplaceable years.
There are the guys I know who went on to do higher degrees instead of getting a job. They almost all have the same personalities: unambitious and clueless. They don't want the stress and responsibility of going out and getting the job they want, or they are afraid to venture into that unknown. They prefer the comfort, structure, perceived safety, and leisurely pace of studying. They never want to leave school.
I'm not saying this is you, but this is my criticism of 'just studying, hoping it will make things better'.

If I were in your position, with a masters in languages, and experience in project managing, I would be searching and researching far and wide for anywhere that skill combination was in demand. And I would not be hesitating to buy the air fare.

I would only be studying another degree with the strictest of scrutiny, pursuant to the question: "is there proven extra employability, pay, and career progression to be offered from the combination of 'masters in language, project management experience, and degree X' over the combination 'masters in language, project management experience', factoring in the years lost from studying degree X".

In essence, I think you are right. Studying in my home city is much more comfortable, safe, etc for me than relocating to another part of the country or leaving it altogether. I have my network here, my friends, my parents and my girl. Give up on all that would be a major sacrifice.

I lived abroad for more than 3 years and hence, I know what it means to be out of my comfort zone, in some strange place without knowing anybody. Needless to say that all of those experiences turned out to be great. Ultimately though, I'm pretty much convinced that I'll want to live/ grow old in my country.

While getting that degree is by no means the golden ticket to my personal happyland, it's quite safe to say that it would significantly increase my appeal to potential employers in my country, especially given my language abilities and my project management background.
Still, getting a respectable job would increase my LMV (Labour Marketplace Value) even more and while the subject I'm studying really interests me, I wouldn't be studying in the first place if it wasn't for my meager job prospects.

To cut a long story short, I'm agreeing with you. Returning to coziness of the ivory vagina is sort of the easy way out and I chose it, not only, but also, because I wasn't ready to sacrifice my life in my home city.

I'm obviously second guessing my decision (otherwise I would not have asked here), but I haven't reached a conclusion in regards to what I'm ready to give up in order to make some career moves.

Anyhow, thank you for giving me your honest perspective.
11-21-2014 12:39 PM
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The_CEO Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Don't forget that you can do both: get your degrees AND be an entrepreneur. They are not mutually exclusive.
While the media likes to hype the billionaire college drop out, I know (and you can find plenty of examples yourself) people who are doing quite well who have double masters, a law degree and a masters, and so on.

You need to decide as others have already prompted you, what the actual cost of the degree will be and what the opportunity cost is

I also know people who obtained a second masters while working full-time.

And while we all know about people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates - you also have Andy Grove (Intel) who has a PhD.
11-22-2014 12:13 PM
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Feo Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
I'm wondering how you speak 4 languages and have an MBA, but still don't know how to effectively market yourself and use your network to make connections. I feel like you're leaving something out of your story.
11-22-2014 04:34 PM
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edtf Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(09-18-2014 01:39 PM)BoiBoi Wrote:  I'm in my early 30's have a Master's in langauges and business administration. I speak 4 languages and am a certified project manager.
Nevertheless, I haven't been able to score a "good" job with real career prospects since I graduated college almost 3 years ago. All I got were some rather precarious temp contracts to pay my bills.

A couple of months ago, I applied at a local college for an engineering programm with special emphasis on energy and natural ressources and got the acceptance letter last week. The programm takes 3-4 semesters and has to be done full-time.

I'm based in Europe, so college is free. I have to pay my living expenses, though. Also, by the time I finish, I almost would be 34-35 with no fancy names on my resume.

Question is, would you go back to school?

Have you thought about leveraging your language and business skills to do something like import/export? Your existing skills are pretty powerful, and seem to have much more potential than going in halfway and trying to compete with people with 5 years of engineering/physics/math background.
11-22-2014 07:29 PM
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BoiBoi Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
I'm the OP and want to give you guys and update, maybe it's helpful to somebody on here.

Recap: Graduated college with a liberal arts degree in linguistics with business as a minor. Struggled to get a job. After ~3 years of working shit jobs I wasn't interested in, I went back to school to get a M.Sc. in energy engineering.

Getting the degree wasn't easy. I had to take all of the basic clases (Thermodynamics, Calculus, etc.) on top of the regular schedule. I managed to get everything done but can truely say that on various occacions, I thought that I woudn't make it. Pulled through regardless and got good grades, too.

I was accepted to write my thesis with a big coorperation in the solar power field. They sent me off to Chile where I worked for 6 months. Upon my return to Europe I got a job in an EPC solar company and am finally working in something that genuinely interestes me. I'm not stuck in an office all day anymore and after I gather more experience, I'll be able to work as a project engineer on projects worldwide.This was the goal I had in mind before starting the master's. Needless to say that I'm pretty happy about my trajectory.
01-20-2018 05:06 AM
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Heart Break Kid Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(01-20-2018 05:06 AM)BoiBoi Wrote:  I'm the OP and want to give you guys and update, maybe it's helpful to somebody on here.

Recap: Graduated college with a liberal arts degree in linguistics with business as a minor. Struggled to get a job. After ~3 years of working shit jobs I wasn't interested in, I went back to school to get a M.Sc. in energy engineering.

Getting the degree wasn't easy. I had to take all of the basic clases (Thermodynamics, Calculus, etc.) on top of the regular schedule. I managed to get everything done but can truely say that on various occacions, I thought that I woudn't make it. Pulled through regardless and got good grades, too.

I was accepted to write my thesis with a big coorperation in the solar power field. They sent me off to Chile where I worked for 6 months. Upon my return to Europe I got a job in an EPC solar company and am finally working in something that genuinely interestes me. I'm not stuck in an office all day anymore and after I gather more experience, I'll be able to work as a project engineer on projects worldwide.This was the goal I had in mind before starting the master's. Needless to say that I'm pretty happy about my trajectory.


Awesome. How long did it take you to finish the Masters - was it 2 years?

I am still a little confused how you were able to take grad school level engineering courses without the prerequisites.
01-20-2018 02:35 PM
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BoiBoi Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
(01-20-2018 02:35 PM)Heart Break Kid Wrote:  
(01-20-2018 05:06 AM)BoiBoi Wrote:  I'm the OP and want to give you guys and update, maybe it's helpful to somebody on here.

Recap: Graduated college with a liberal arts degree in linguistics with business as a minor. Struggled to get a job. After ~3 years of working shit jobs I wasn't interested in, I went back to school to get a M.Sc. in energy engineering.

Getting the degree wasn't easy. I had to take all of the basic clases (Thermodynamics, Calculus, etc.) on top of the regular schedule. I managed to get everything done but can truely say that on various occacions, I thought that I woudn't make it. Pulled through regardless and got good grades, too.

I was accepted to write my thesis with a big coorperation in the solar power field. They sent me off to Chile where I worked for 6 months. Upon my return to Europe I got a job in an EPC solar company and am finally working in something that genuinely interestes me. I'm not stuck in an office all day anymore and after I gather more experience, I'll be able to work as a project engineer on projects worldwide.This was the goal I had in mind before starting the master's. Needless to say that I'm pretty happy about my trajectory.


Awesome. How long did it take you to finish the Masters - was it 2 years?

I am still a little confused how you were able to take grad school level engineering courses without the prerequisites.

Since I had to take basic classes too, it took me 3 years.

Well, I also was a bit confused when they accepted me and for the first semester I felt like a fraud. It's the only programm I know of which is open to people from other areas if they are able to complete all of the basic engineering classes.
01-21-2018 05:12 AM
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Sonoma Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
That's awesome that it worked out for you.

It's always good to see threads like this updated over the years.

One question- what's the pay for that level of job?
01-21-2018 09:18 AM
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Congratulations OP. Few people have the balls to make such a drastic life change.

If you are into the international lifestyle, now it's a great time to be an engineer. If you know how to market yourself, it's easier than ever to jump from country to country. Until you find the country you want to settle in, of course.


Also nice to see an OP coming back to update an old post.
01-21-2018 10:12 AM
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Mr.Flappy Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Awesome OP. Really motivating stuff!
01-22-2018 03:52 AM
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BoiBoi Offline
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RE: Getting a Second Master's Degree
Thanks guys.


(01-21-2018 09:18 AM)Sonoma Wrote:  One question- what's the pay for that level of job?

At my level the pay is alright, but nothing groundbreaking. Most of the really high paying jobs in energy don't involve extensive field work as far as I know. But since money isn't my main incentive, I don't care too much.
01-22-2018 12:54 PM
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