Jump to content

Open Club  ·  40 members

Off Topic

Thesis-based Master's program v. Course-based Master's program?


Recommended Posts

I'm currently looking into the possibility of obtaining my Master's, and I recently came across a Master's program that I'm interested in that is course-based rather than thesis-based.

 

I'm looking into the main differences between the two types of programs and questioning which one would be best for me.

 

Does anyone have any information and/or experiences they can share regarding this? For example, maybe you chose a course-based Master's program over a thesis-based Master's or vice-versa? And if you can share why you chose the option that you did, it would be appreciated!

 

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

What is it you want to study? That makes a difference.

 

Thesis-based degrees teach you to do more extensive research and writing -- is that something that is beneficial or necessary in the field you want to get into?

 

Course-based degrees often, but not always, have a practical end to them (an internship or classes that involve crafting, doing or interning) which is more appropriate for other fields.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What is it you want to study? That makes a difference.

 

Thesis-based degrees teach you to do more extensive research and writing -- is that something that is beneficial or necessary in the field you want to get into?

 

Course-based degrees often, but not always, have a practical end to them (an internship or classes that involve crafting, doing or interning) which is more appropriate for other fields.

 

This.... for example, an MBA (at least at the schools here) will typically have a number of courses with a final project vs. a thesis.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What is it you want to study? That makes a difference.

 

Thesis-based degrees teach you to do more extensive research and writing -- is that something that is beneficial or necessary in the field you want to get into?

 

Course-based degrees often, but not always, have a practical end to them (an internship or classes that involve crafting, doing or interning) which is more appropriate for other fields.

 

Thank you for the reply, arjumand. I've been practicing as an attorney for a few years now and am considering a career change. The Master's program that I'm currently looking at is in the management/human resources field. That said, based on the info you've provided and the brief research I've done, I'm thinking a course based Master's might be the way to go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would talk to the career admissions office at the school and ask for information concerning any difference in success in the job market, with getting internships during the program, etc. Also think of who you are - do you do well with long term projects that require you to be a self starter and separate the bigger project into smaller projects with goals that you meet on your own? Courses won't require that as much -they're more time limited with exams or projects or papers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would talk to the career admissions office at the school and ask for information concerning any difference in success in the job market, with getting internships during the program, etc. Also think of who you are - do you do well with long term projects that require you to be a self starter and separate the bigger project into smaller projects with goals that you meet on your own? Courses won't require that as much -they're more time limited with exams or projects or papers.

 

Good ideas, Batya. I left a message with the admissions officer earlier today regarding other questions I had, but asking about the difference in success once out in the job market is a good thought. Tbh, in terms of knowing myself, I think I would be good/pretty efficient at either program. I'm a self-starter, so long-term projects are not a big deal. While in college and in law school, I would start papers and other projects at the beginning of the term because I didn't want to leave anything last minute, even though they wouldn't be due until mid-term or end of term. That said, I don't mind exams or having to submit projects/papers within a short amount of time either because my career is pretty much based on that now. Lots of tight deadlines and paperwork! I feel like I know what I'm leaning towards though - if I am looking for a management type position at the end of the day. Course based seems like it might be the way to go. But, I'm still doing my research! Not going to make any rash decisions.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Good ideas, Batya. I left a message with the admissions officer earlier today regarding other questions I had, but asking about the difference in success once out in the job market is a good thought. Tbh, in terms of knowing myself, I think I would be good/pretty efficient at either program. I'm a self-starter, so long-term projects are not a big deal. While in college and in law school, I would start papers and other projects at the beginning of the term because I didn't want to leave anything last minute, even though they wouldn't be due until mid-term or end of term. That said, I don't mind exams or having to submit projects/papers within a short amount of time either because my career is pretty much based on that now. Lots of tight deadlines and paperwork! I feel like I know what I'm leaning towards though - if I am looking for a management type position at the end of the day. Course based seems like it might be the way to go. But, I'm still doing my research! Not going to make any rash decisions.

Course-based have typical courses during semesters and a thesis at the end. Thesis-based do not have typical courses, only research I think. Like a thesis in the course-based but you have to choose a heftier subject to study. I am not sure about the thesis-based though, mine was course-based.

 

However, you already have a law degree and many years of experience. Finding a managerial type of job would be relatively easy depending on the field of course. Managerial positions at auditing or accounting firms shouldn't be so difficult to get. I work at a global auditing/accounting company and there are many lawyers. Don't do a degree and spend money without a reason. Unless you want to do it for the sake of it which is good enough reason (for me).

Link to post
Share on other sites
Course-based have typical courses during semesters and a thesis at the end. Thesis-based do not have typical courses, only research I think. Like a thesis in the course-based but you have to choose a heftier subject to study. I am not sure about the thesis-based though, mine was course-based.

 

However, you already have a law degree and many years of experience. Finding a managerial type of job would be relatively easy depending on the field of course. Managerial positions at auditing or accounting firms shouldn't be so difficult to get. I work at a global auditing/accounting company and there are many lawyers. Don't do a degree and spend money without a reason. Unless you want to do it for the sake of it which is good enough reason (for me).

 

I know what you mean, dias. Trust me, I'm not going to invest the time or money unless I know it's worth my while. I'm exploring various ways that I can use my law degree without practicing law in the conventional way, because I know my degree can give me an edge, and pairing it with a Master's degree at this point could not hurt me either. Yes, jobs are out there and I know of attorneys with managerial positions, but being honest, I'm not sure of their educational background and most are just managers of legal departments and still essentially practicing law. I want to focus on obtaining a position that's more human resources focused, if you know what I mean.

 

It's competitive out there, too - even with a law degree. Lots of jobs out there, but just as many (or more) attorneys out there looking to fill these positions. And unless we know someone or are related to someone at the company/firm we've applied to, we're rarely given a second look. Plus, like I said, I'm looking to get out of the conventional way of practicing law, but I don't want the time and money that I've invested in my law degree to go to waste. Hence why I'm considering this course as an option since it would complement my law degree, but also help steer me in a different direction career-wise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
And unless we know someone or are related to someone at the company/firm we've applied to, we're rarely given a second look.

 

This is the reality for all of us that are in highly competitive fields, or people looking to move into management roles. You know that saying "It's not what you know, it's who you know"? Well it is absolutely true. Every job I have had, project I have been involved in, promotion I have received, has happened because I happened to know someone that could help me get there, because through our connection they knew that I had the skills they wanted for the role.

 

Building on what dias has said... given all of your current experience, what skills would you be looking to add with a Master's degree? I am also curious as to whether you already have a particular role in mind, and if you have had a look at postings for those types of roles, and if so what are the typical education requirements?

 

Education will get your resume past the recruiter.... at the end of the day, it will be your experience, leadership skills, results and the connections you make that land you the job you want.

 

That all being said... the opportunity to take a Master's Degree in Management and HR sounds really interesting and exciting... that in and of itself might be reason enough to go for it!

Edited by maew
Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course it's about who you know much of the time -networking is essential in all fields especially client-service or professional fields. Sometimes masters programs also involve a fair amount of networking too. I wonder if you can get a job in law firm HR and get them to pay for a part time masters?

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is the reality for all of us that are in highly competitive fields, or people looking to move into management roles. You know that saying "It's not what you know, it's who you know"? Well it is absolutely true. Every job I have had, project I have been involved in, promotion I have received, has happened because I happened to know someone that could help me get there, because through our connection they knew that I had the skills they wanted for the role.

 

Building on what dias has said... given all of your current experience, what skills would you be looking to add with a Master's degree? I am also curious as to whether you already have a particular role in mind, and if you have had a look at postings for those types of roles, and if so what are the typical education requirements?

 

Education will get your resume past the recruiter.... at the end of the day, it will be your experience, leadership skills, results and the connections you make that land you the job you want.

 

That all being said... the opportunity to take a Master's Degree in Management and HR sounds really interesting and exciting... that in and of itself might be reason enough to go for it!

 

Who we know does play a big role in employment opportunities. It's how I got my current job. I wish I was a networker, but I'm a self-admitted non-networker. I detest it, which is unfortunate, because in my field, it's pretty much an essential part of the profession. I suspect that if I really, truly enjoyed my career, I wouldn't mind networking. But, as someone who's never really been content with their chosen career path, networking is not a priority of mine.

 

Now I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life/career, and I'm able to explore other career opportunities, which I haven't been able to do before - which is exciting! I'm looking forward to this next chapter, whatever it may be.

 

At this point, I'm still at a very early stage of exploring other career options, but these few options I am looking into are fields that I've been interested in for a very long time! Having said this, the few Master's programs I am researching look appealing, however I have a ways to go in terms of researching and knowing whether they are something that I want to pursue. Like I said, I'm not going to rush into anything or make any rash decisions.

 

And I agree with you, maew....the one Master's program I'm considering does sound very interesting and exciting. For some reason, it seems to be calling my name.

 

Honestly, if I had the finances, I'd be the perpetual student and get my PhD in everything! How unrealistic, right? Lol. But I actually did enjoy and do miss school! I guess this isn't a possibility though; at least, not until I win the lottery. Then I can get a degree in every field I want to pursue!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Of course it's about who you know much of the time -networking is essential in all fields especially client-service or professional fields. Sometimes masters programs also involve a fair amount of networking too. I wonder if you can get a job in law firm HR and get them to pay for a part time masters?

 

It sure does matter. No secret there.

 

I'd love to find a job like that, but I have not come across any job postings like that. And I've heard of (and know of) companies paying for certificates, etc. (i.e. - marketing, etc.), but I've never heard of companies covering the cost of a Master's degree.

 

If anyone knows of any job postings like this, please direct them my way! Lol

Link to post
Share on other sites
It sure does matter. No secret there.

 

I'd love to find a job like that, but I have not come across any job postings like that. And I've heard of (and know of) companies paying for certificates, etc. (i.e. - marketing, etc.), but I've never heard of companies covering the cost of a Master's degree.

 

If anyone knows of any job postings like this, please direct them my way! Lol

 

I know of many companies that pay or subsidize tuition for many different programs. No names come to mind but it's a common thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I know of many companies that pay or subsidize tuition for many different programs. No names come to mind but it's a common thing.

 

Interesting. I have heard of companies covering the costs of certificates and continuing education (especially in our profession b/c we have to stay up to date when it comes to laws, etc. and it’s required, but at minimal cost), though I’ve never heard of businesses covering the cost of (whether fully or partial) something as costly as a Master’s.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting. I have heard of companies covering the costs of certificates and continuing education (especially in our profession b/c we have to stay up to date when it comes to laws, etc. and it’s required, but at minimal cost), though I’ve never heard of businesses covering the cost of (whether fully or partial) something as costly as a Master’s.

 

Perhaps gradschoolhub.com might help

Link to post
Share on other sites
I know of many companies that pay or subsidize tuition for many different programs. No names come to mind but it's a common thing.

 

The company I work for subsidizes our tuition if the field is related to our line of business. For example... I had my coaching certification paid for, as well as my bachelor's degree in technology management, and a number of other training programs. The caveat is that you have to stay with the company for a certain number of years after (they don't want people taking advantage of the opportunity and then f-ing off into the sunset).

Link to post
Share on other sites
The company I work for subsidizes our tuition if the field is related to our line of business. For example... I had my coaching certification paid for, as well as my bachelor's degree in technology management, and a number of other training programs. The caveat is that you have to stay with the company for a certain number of years after (they don't want people taking advantage of the opportunity and then f-ing off into the sunset).

 

Yes, I've heard of those requirements- makes sense!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Around here a CHRP designation or certification is more favoured or recognized than a masters and it's the basic requirement for HR professionals. Even if you do have a masters, most HR professionals need a CHRP. I'd really do more sleuthing in what you want to do in the HR field. A masters alone won't cover it if you're looking to move out of law entirely. Why the appeal for HR in the first place? Why not do an MBA specializing in executive management or some such? You can always take stand alone courses in payroll etc or get a separate certification for payroll later on if that's part of your role. I don't get the feeling you're interested in the administrative aspect of HR and you're more interested in management. HR is really a bunch of administrative work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The company I work for subsidizes our tuition if the field is related to our line of business. For example... I had my coaching certification paid for, as well as my bachelor's degree in technology management, and a number of other training programs. The caveat is that you have to stay with the company for a certain number of years after (they don't want people taking advantage of the opportunity and then f-ing off into the sunset).

 

Wow. That company really invested in you. That's great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Around here a CHRP designation or certification is more favoured or recognized than a masters and it's the basic requirement for HR professionals. Even if you do have a masters, most HR professionals need a CHRP. I'd really do more sleuthing in what you want to do in the HR field. A masters alone won't cover it if you're looking to move out of law entirely. Why the appeal for HR in the first place? Why not do an MBA specializing in executive management or some such? You can always take stand alone courses in payroll etc or get a separate certification for payroll later on if that's part of your role. I don't get the feeling you're interested in the administrative aspect of HR and you're more interested in management. HR is really a bunch of administrative work.

 

I'm still in the very early sleuthing stages. I'm not even close to making a decision yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd love to find a job like that, but I have not come across any job postings like that. And I've heard of (and know of) companies paying for certificates, etc. (i.e. - marketing, etc.), but I've never heard of companies covering the cost of a Master's degree.

 

My previous employer covered degree programs, but it had to be in (or related to) your line of work. They weren't going to invest in your career-change. But they did hire lawyers in that company, and if a lawyer were to pursue an MBA or some real estate-related degree, that lawyer could probably make a convincing argument for the company to finance it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As for your original question.... speaking for myself I would opt for the course-based degree. It's more practical. With a thesis-based path, there is too much potential to wander off into the academic weeds. Plus, you're sort of at the mercy of whatever professor is overseeing your work. Some professors are wackadoos who have a lot of ideas but no practical experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...