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Hi! Since I'm going to graduate in the not so distant future I'm asking whether I should invest two more years and obtain a M.A. (ARTS!) that COULD be valuable for working abroad or just enter a low-paid job in a desired country and work my way up, so to speak. How are two years better spent if I intend to built a career in that country? Granted, every situation is different but I'd be thankful for any advice.
P.S.: I've added a poll.
Last edited by naiss2 on June 22nd, 2011, 4:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
As a guy who spent 8+ years at the uni and has a Masters in IT, yet still ended up on my ass without work anywhere in the States, I find myself wishing I'd gone to trade school and learned a useful skill, such as plumbing, carpentry, electrician, etc. Ultimately, I think the future world will need more people like that, and less college grads. Just my 2 cents, but then again, I'm very bitter about the whole thing right now. Keep in mind that in many parts of the world, trade schools are still very common (unlike the US) and you can start an apprenticeship and be earning money sooner and have real-world skills that are also portable around the globe.
Actually, trade school is a very common alternative to going to uni here in Germany. In most cases you apply directly at a company that will train you in your trade. You spend most of your time working in the company as a paid apprentice. In addition, you attend trade school to gain knowledge that you'll need in your profession. An apprenticeship usually lasts for three years, that is about the same time you need to finish a bachelor's degree. It can be a valuable education of you want to work in Germany.
However, a crucial reason why I decided to go to uni was that I thought (and still think) a bachelor's would provide greater opportunities if you want to work abroad. Employers outside of Germany don't necessarily know how to assess the value of vocational education obtained in Germany. A bachelor's or master's degree is more easily comparable to corresponding degrees that many (European) countries offer.
Also a funny thing. The US government has made sure trade schools die out. Either "non-survivalist" trade schools have survived(based on drivel like art), or you get alternative schools based on learning no skills;you go there like a public school, but you go to "job-related classes" that offer no valuable knowledge except how to be a slave to your employer. These schools are mostly reserved for the "troublesome".
Any other country sounds like a great alternative to the US for education.
I'm convinced the US business elite drummed out the trade schools. Used to be any half intelligent person could learn an honest trade and someday go into business for himself and hire other people and continue the cycle. The US economy and political milieu is dominated by mega-corporations, who drive small businesses and trade industries out of town. Then they turn around and bribe the politicians to turn a blind eye to it all. Now, if you want to get a job, you are taught to play "good slave" to a mega-corp, who will wring every ounce of work and energy out of you and then kick your ass to the curb with no benefits or warning, when they find someone else who can "perform better". Of course they perform better: they already burned you out completely, plus you never got any vacation time and were working 80 hours/week. Its a f***ing sweat shop/plantation mentality!
If small independent businesses were the backbone of the US economy, businesses would have the resources and luxury of time to hire smart new people, teach them the trade and give them a clear path upwards in life. Of course very few small business owners can survive in modern America, considering the megacorporations and the lack of available start-up capital and reluctance of the banks to give small business loans. Plus, we have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world (mega corps are exempt, of course...) An economy based on small business owners would also eliminate the constant fear of getting fired for no reason that most Americans have to live with every damn day at work.
In our parents' day, working for a company used to be a give-and-take relationship, based on trust and hard work. What we have now in the US is a one-way street: the corporation takes EVERYTHING from you and gives you NOTHING in return. You're only as good as the last good work you've done for them and your track record of excellent work and many loyal years on the job are of no consequence to them. The US has allowed itself to be duped into another form of indentured servitude cum slavery. We're just too dumb to understand it.
What what subject are you considering getting an M.A. in?
If it's in English, Education, a foreign language, economics, or history, I'd say go for it while you are still used to the routine of going to school. But if it's in some less useful subject like sociology, I would say don't bother.
Another thing is that many countries might be more eager to hire you with an M.A., but not all of them will necessarily pay you much better than someone with a B.A.
Many less-developed countries are already full of over-educated people who still earn quite shitty pay.
All things considered, I do like living in Germany. I just want a change and I think the time after university is a good opportunity to realize this change. Being single without children makes it easier to live on little money and relocate as it suits you.
What country or countries do you want to move to?
You have given me the answers I need. Thanks! Now, I'll move on.