For a half decade, I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school and getting a masters degree. I use ‘toying’ here in the way a lazy cat toys with a petrified sparrow. That is, with intermittent focus.
Why do I want to back to school?
- I really enjoyed my undergraduate degree. I liked the academic rigour, the camaraderie and the debate.
- Lots of smart people that I respect have masters degrees.
- I enjoy public speaking and teaching, and an advanced degree would help me do more of that.
- I enjoy living in other places–I write this on a plane over the Atlantic–and getting a masters degree might enable that.
I’m intrigued by the idea in the abstract, but I don’t know what I’d like to study. There’s my core competency: web marketing and communications. I suppose I’m boasting, but I suspect that I’m overqualified for that topic. Having written a book about it, and taught both undergrads and grad students myself, I’d make an intolerable student.
I don’t want an MBA. No offense to anybody who has one, but they seem highly commodified. I think a lot of people get an MBA for career advancement or to increase their pay grade, neither of which is among my motivations. Also, I’ve been the co-owner of a business for 10 years, and there’s some truth to that cliche about the school of life.
I have a notion that I’d like to study something tangentially related to my work. Something around Internet culture or using the web to do good. I can think of questions I’d like to answer, but I’m not even sure what university department they might fit in.
I Have No Idea
But that’s really all I know. I have no idea how one picks a program or how one gets into one. I assume that you can, to some degree, customize your masters program, but I don’t know how much. I don’t even know how to start looking for and evaluating programs, except with some deeply dumb Google searches.
In truth, I’ve been hoping the perfect program would magically appear in my Google calendar. It hasn’t.
So, those of you with advanced degrees, how would I go about finding one that’s the right fit for me?