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Thread: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

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    Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Worth it or not? I know it depends on the industry and type of degree...but, for those of you who HAVE earned your Masters degree, has it payed off for you?

    I'm considering something in Business Administration or something like that to go alone with my B.A. in Mass Communication.


    Although the "journey" has been very exciting so far, it has proven to be such a difficult industry to advance in as well as difficult to make "good" money. So, I'm considering going back to school for my Masters in order to strengthen my resume in hopes of advancing in my career in sports. On a different note, being that it is so difficult to make good money in this industry...earning a Masters could possibly open up doors elsewhere, in a different industry if things don't work out for me.


    So, offer any advice that you may. Let the discussion begin.
    "Rounding Third and Heading for Home"

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Just make sure that having an MBA would actually help you advance. Just because you have the letters behind your name doesn't mean they will start paying you a lot more money or give you an important job in a new field.

    Also, if all your experience is in one area, and you get an MBA hoping to switch over to a new carear path, it's not a golden ticket. For example, if all your experience is in grounds keeping and you get an MBA, I doubt you'd start off in Marketing or Finance departments in anything other than entery level positions (ie. likely not making much money). You'll still have to earn your stripes before you start moving up and advancing. In those cases, I'd say get a job in that department first (before you invest the money in the degree) and (1) see if you like it (2) get some experience to go with that education (3) see if the company will pay for it.

    Also, do you really need a masters degree to advance in your chosen field? I'm in technial industrial sales. An MBA would do exactly nothing for my carear. If I want to get into management, or a sales field that requires more education (say captial systems, for example) an MBA would be helpfull, but since I am more than happy being a territory sales manager, there's no need for more education other than for my own personal advancement and enjoyment.

    I'm a huge proponent of more education. But just having a masters degree doesn't mean a bunch of doors will open for you. Be sure to do your homework first. If it makes sense, then go for it.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    I guess my screen name here on Redszone can be a bit misleading. I no longer am a member of the grounds crew...

    So far, I have this much under my belt:

    B.A. in Mass Communication from Miami University of Ohio
    Internship with Disney - earned a certificate in Organizational Leadership

    Three years experience as a member of the Reds grounds crew in order to get my foot in the door.

    Two years experience (while working for the Reds) working for the Cincinnati ABC-TV affiliate in order to gain media experience.

    I'm currently employed by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization as an assistant to the "game day coordinator". That is my day job. I work a second job, during the home games, for MLB Advanced Media doing stat coverage in the press box.



    So, I have a solid foundation and am in my fourth year in MLB/professional sports. The problem is, I'm working for very little money and it's hard to get by at times. I (and others) tell myself that it will pay off eventually...but eventually seems so far away. I'm up in the air on what to do. Do I stick it out...earn a higher degree...or just pursue other career options? That might be a problem though seeing how all of my experience is within sports/media.
    "Rounding Third and Heading for Home"

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    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Grounds_Crew View Post
    I'm up in the air on what to do. Do I stick it out...earn a higher degree...or just pursue other career options? That might be a problem though seeing how all of my experience is within sports/media.
    Again, I think the question gets back to what I asked...would getting an advanced degree, in fact, lead to adancement and more pay? If the answer is yes, and the world of baseball is one you want to stay in, then go for the degree. But just having an MBA doesn't mean you will make more money or advance.

    I've found the best way to figure out how to advance at a company is to observe and talk with those who have advanced to the level you'd like to obtain. Flat out ask the higher-ups, "what do you recommend I do to move ahead here with the Pirates". Talk with some other high ranking folks and see what they did to get ahead. The more people you talk with, the better picture you will have. Then you can decide if you want to do those things, or if a carear change is in order.

    I think the general answer you will hear is; work hard, get experience in the area of which you are interested and learn how to make money for your company. There will be tweaks for each industry, but my guess is that those will be general themes that you hear.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

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    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    The short answer to the first question is "yes." But your mileage may vary.

    I just PMed you with more details.
    /r/reds

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    I pm'ed you.

    The summary: If you can possibly be happy in any industry besides sports, do that! Less competitive, more money. The value of MBAs, like law degrees, varies greatly by school. If you can get into Michigan or some place like that, you'll have a ton of opportunities. If not, you can learn a great deal, but you'll have to create more of your own opportunities. As one who's going to a law school that's not top tier, I'm finding that out.

    If you're hell-bent on staying in sports, at least for a while, try to get into one of the top M.S. in Sport Management programs (UMass, Ohio U., Oregon). You'll make additional connections in these programs, and your prior experience might help you to get in.
    Last edited by cincinnati chili; 04-26-2007 at 08:43 PM. Reason: typo
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I pm'ed you.

    The summary: If you can possibly be happy in any industry besides sports, do that! Less competitive, more money. The value of MBAs, like law degrees, varies greatly by school. If you can get into Michigan or some place like that, you'll have a ton of opportunities. If not, you can learn a great deal, but you'll have to create more of your own opportunities. As one who's going to a law school that's not top tier, I'm finding that out.

    If you're hell-bent on staying in sports, at least for a while, try to get into one of the top M.S. in Sport Management programs (UMass, Ohio U., Oregon). You'll make additional connections in these programs, and your prior experience might help you to get in.
    Sound advice. In your field, the MS in Sports Management will get you farther, but from everything I've heard, your best bet is to just tough it out and pay your dues. Hopefully you'll make contacts who will eventually move into key positions with a team or media outlet and they'll want to fill the staff with their "guys." For an MBA, I think most people get more mileage out of those as a boost to their existing career rather than a tool for jump starting new careers.
    Burn down the disco. Hang the blessed DJ. Because the music that he constantly plays, it says nothing to me about my life.

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Got an MBA and I'm now about 75% done with an M.A in Political Science.

    Like has been mentioned above - it all depends on what you want to do. Would this be a quit work and go to school full-time proposition, or would this be a continue working and take one or two night/weekend classes a semester proposition?

    If you're going to quit work, go to school full time, and rack up the sizable debt that comes with it, then you better do the cost-benefit analysis to make sure that it makes sense for what you want to do.

    I've done both of my grad degrees part-time while working full time. I'm not going to lie - it's a pain, especially if you complicate the mix with things like a wife, kid, house, etc. But there are a whole host of benefits. One is that when you finish, you have both work experience AND a degree. Not just one or the other. A part-time program also lets you meet other folks who are in the same boat - you find out a lot about other types of jobs / industries / employers that way.

    I also came out of undergrad with some hefty student loans. My employer basically covered my costs for my MBA. And by going part-time, it put all of my loans from undergrad into deferred status. Since my out-of-pocket cost for the MBA was effectively $0, we kept making the student loan payments. While those loans were in deferred status, every penny paid against them went entirely towards the principal of the loan. So when all was said & done, I went through a 3 year stint where I got 3 years of work experience, an MBA, and instead of racking up debt, my student loans got paid off entirely much earlier than was originally planned.

    The other thing I've learned about grad degrees - it's not so much that they'll help give you a leg up on the competition / get your foot in the door somewhere. They also can set the ceiling a lot higher down the road. Folks might not be jumping at you to throw mega-bucks your way the day after you graduate. But over time (20 / 30 / 40 years) you should see a nice return on your degree. The grad degree typically makes you a more competitive candidate as you advance through the ranks. Check out some of the data the census bureau has regarding the average annual & lifetime earnings for people with different education levels.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by 15fan; 04-27-2007 at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    I think chili gave some sound advice along with others. The one thing I might add is to ask yourself why do you want the masters degree? Is it so that it can just further your advancement or is there some particular area that you are interested in studying? I think this can help tell you whether or not you want to quit work and study full time at a good school or go the night class route. The other thing you will have to ask yourself, is whether or not you are in this for the long hull. It won't be easy, especially if you do it at night, and you and your resolve will be tested.

    As far as masters degrees in general, I think they can help you if you are looking at an entry into a different place. I got mine along the ride, so I am not a good example to say it has helped me. Basically, I think that it can help open up opportunities at different places, but may not help as much in career advancement in a current place of employment. Just MO.

    Also, do you know what area you would like to consider? If you are into math and numbers, maybe a finance background/financial engineering area may be a good fit, in that it will enable you to get opportunities elsewhere besides baseball, but may also allow you to stay in baseball. Just a few thoughts, regardless good luck.

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Well feel free to PM any initial advice to me as well.
    I'm starting my MBA program at Butler in two weeks.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 15fan View Post
    Got an MBA and I'm now about 75% done with an M.A in Political Science.
    Well, that's an interesting order in which to get those degrees. Where are you headed with that combo? Just curious.

    As for getting a masters- I got one in a field that is pretty limited. The degree is not worth much outside my field and if I had my druthers I'd probably get an MPA instead because my work is now more public sector administration than anything. But enough about me.

    I think you really have to know what your intentions are before jumping into a MBA program and I'd agree about pursuing a Masters in sports management instead. You may pick up a lot of valuable stuff in the MBA program that applies directly to sports management, but I would gravitate towards a program that is focused more directly on what you are hoping to get out of it.
    On the other hand, if you are not sure whether you will stick with the sports thing and you are looking for a wider career arc, then the MBA may be better.

    Lastly, on the other hand (I know that's three, but I didn't get a masters in accounting), the MBA is a huge investment. You have experience already and you have already started on a career path. Have you considered something short of the MBA? Are there graduate certificate programs that would suffice and which would give you some intensive management and leadership training? I'm not talking about skillpath stuff, but the kinds of things that are attached to real universities, like professional institutes, summer series, etc. Maybe there are some options out there what will suit you. And it all helps on the resume when you can list completion of some kind of program from a school.

    Good Luck, Crew!
    Next Reds manager, second shooter. --Confirmed on Redszone.

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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    Quote Originally Posted by SunDeck View Post
    Well, that's an interesting order in which to get those degrees. Where are you headed with that combo? Just curious.
    Rather than bore everyone, I'll just bore you via pm.

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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Considering earning a Masters degree - Advice Needed

    I got my MBA 20 years ago from IESA (Venezuela)/ UNC (exchange program).

    No regrets. I'd say it had a positive Net Present Value for me.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."

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