Dopers who went past their bachelor degree.

I have an MPA and am a graduate of the (U.S. Army’s) Command & General Staff College. I use neither degree. On the other hand, someday when someone asks me how to plan a major troop convoy, I will be all over it.

My Master of Library and Information Science has allowed me to do find something I really enjoy doing. While I am not getting rich, I can’t think of anything else I would like as much. If I didn’t get my MLIS, I’d probably still be stuck in retail.

That is my one regret also. I really wish I had gone overseas or tried something different, unfortunately I never really new it was a viable option. In hindsight I really wish I would have tried something like teaching English overseas or possibly going to Alaska for a year as a tour guide. It wasn’t until later that I discovered that these were real options. I feel that US schools could do a better job of letting young people know these opportunities are out there.

Everyone is talking about graduate school. Law school and medical school counts too. Where are all the lawyers and doctors?

I went to veterinary school for a doctorate.

Yes, it was worth it. Best years of my life.

Approximately 75% of the classes I took for my MS in Technical Communication were employer-reimbursed. With that in mind, it was worth it. I enjoyed all classes except one, which I loathed. I use the knowledge, and while I don’t work in the field, I find I am marketable for much better jobs having “a masters in something” than I was with “a bachelors in something.”

That “greying of the profession/desperate librarian shortage” thing? Don’t believe a word of it. Library schools are in the business of churning out library school graduates; they don’t even seem to realize at all that the market is not what they tell you it is.

Oh, but I love the field and the work I do in it, don’t get me wrong. I’d just like something full time with benefits that would allow me to stay close to my aging family. So far I’ve got 17 hours a week worth of two jobs… 23 more and I’d be set. :wink:

Second this. The Master’s degree got me a much better paying research job when I graduated. But I wanted to teach so went back for the doctorate. Graduated just in time for the recession of the early 90’s and a glut of computer science PhDs. So I spent some unsettled years doing a postdoc before finally getting a job in a small startup. I actually did enjoy grad school and the work and the people, but I didn’t end up in the career path I’d hoped for. And the jury is still out on where the current path is leading. The number of research-oriented organizations in the US is on a decline, so it’s not clear how much a doctorate actually benefits you in the job hunt.

I’ve only been working 6 months or so with my advanced degree, so the answer to the “Was it worth it?” question is still up in the air.

I do know that my education has commanded a certain degree of respect that I appreciate. It goes beyond the “Dr” thing. I’ve noticed that my advice is taken with a bit more seriousness than that from the others in my work place. I can be a know-it-all without necessarily eliciting negative responses (even though I’m not a know-it-all, but I do like bringing up cool facts and trivia…and people almost expect me to). I recall when my father once argued with me that bamboo isn’t an invasive species, shortly after I graduated. In a matter of seconds, I was able to squash him down by simply reminding him that 1)I have a Ph.D, 2) I have a Ph.D in biology, 3) my thesis research was on invasive plants, and 4)my research focused on a distant cousin of bamboo. It was the first time I’d ever felt like an expert on something. Getting my father’s respect was awesome too.

The responsibilities are greater, and I’m still not used to carrying such burdens on my shoulders, but my advanced degree gives me a level of power and respect that isn’t unpleasant. I don’t want to be at the top of the totem pole, but being at the bottom isn’t my idea of fun either. Going beyond a Bachelor’s gives me the freedom to decide where in the power structure I want to be. Such freedom is valuable and definitely “worth it”.

That’s what I did. I have a BA in Political Science, and an MS in mathematics. My current job is as a technical manager in a political organization. This is a nice marriage of my two degrees.

However, the cross-disciplinary aspect of my education would pay off in many career positions. The humanities degree has given me an edge in my technical career that many techies lack. In short, I am a techie who can write well for a non-technical audience. This has proven to be an incredibly valuable career skill.

In my job, it is required…sort of. Secondary Education requires grad work, but not an advanced degree. It’s handy for moving up the salary schedule, but I have found that getting training and certificates in specific areas of specialization (GATE, AP, Writing, etc.) to be better for my job than the MA.

One of my fellow teachers was once ribbing me for attending a state college, while he went to Georgetown. I asked him “Where are we both teaching? What are we both making?”

Shut him up nicely. :smiley:

Got an MBA and have to say it really helped money wise. I enjoyed getting the degree also, very interesting and I was with a great bunch of people. One benifit was being able to retire early.

Utah St. came to our local community college on weekends for two years offering the program. The nice folks I worked for offered to send me, paying all expenses. At the end of the program I sold my text books and made a $600 dollar profit from the whole thing.

I mention this only to irritate all of you who ended up thousands of dollars in debt getting your advanced degrees.

I have a B.A. in Political Science. I’m finishing my J.D. in 6 weeks (I want to throw up and dance at the same time when I say that) and it was more than worth it. Although, I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t put a lot of thought into becoming a lawyer-to my parents having a undergraduate degree was the equivalent of a highschool degree and there were daily tantrums on their part about getting a real career so I wrote every graduate program I could think up on a piece of paper and picked “law” out of the pile I stuffed in a glass bowl. I used to be a national cross-ex debater in high school-that was about the last time I had contact with anything remotely close to the profession I chose but I have to say that I absolutely love it! There were some personal bumps along the way in law school and I can’t say that I’m part of that group of kids whose social life begins and ends with other law students but when I’m in a class I love and I’m reading material and really learning in school I know I made the right choice.

I got my masters and a few hours more and I would have to say that it has not helped me much that much.

In my chosen field, journalism, there can almost be a resentment by some of degrees beyond a BA. I could teach, but many administrators don’t want teachers with master’s degrees because they have to pay them more.

Honestly, though, I don’t regret it. I learned some important stuff, met some neat people and had a good time, even though I almost had a couple nervous breakdowns with my comps and thesis.

I loved grad school, and I loved the research I did getting a Ph.D. There was something I really wanted to work on, and I got to.

It’s been an admissions ticket afterwards to let me do researchy type things in industry, and it has helped me in working with people at universities. But I know people who got Ph.Ds and who never did anything particularly interesting with them, so I’d only advice getting one if you like the process.

It never hurt my earnings, by the way.

Oh, I didn’t think we were included.

I have an MD and what’s called an FRCP (Felllow of the Royal College of Physicians). The latter degree confirms that I am a recognized specialist.

I actually did three years of research (triglyceride metabolism & insulin resistance, and some clinical stuff, too, on diabetic complications. Although I didn’t earn a new set of inititials at the end of it, those years were absolutely critical in terms of me finding an academic (i.e. University) position.

Good luck!

I agree with this, and am in a similar boat, except that for scientific disciplines it’s usually not possible to go to grad school without having a closely related bachelor’s degree. I’d love to get a degree in computer science, but to even enter a grad program I’d have to pass a subject GRE which essentially tests that I know the content of a bachelor’s degree in the subject.

My MLS was worth it. I’m not practicing in the profession, but it still enables me to put UCLA on my resume*, and I think that’s been helpful.

*That’s what they mean by "rights and privileges thereto pertaining!

Oh, and I did enjoy it. I liked being in a career-oriented program after being in the German literature program at UCSD.

I really did want to be a librarian, too, so I was motivated. As for why I didn’t become one…vicissitudes, vicissitudes.

Grad school was much fun and we learned so much that you’re just not going to learn anywhere else.

At the time, my career was going exactly nowhere, so it’s not as though the opportunity cost was significant. The student loans are quite the drudgery, but do not outweigh the benefits in my case.

I would recommend spending some years in the “real world” between B.A. and Masters. I’d also recommend the “full-time student” route if practical. Those part-timers working full-time did not seem to be having a good time, at all.

I am in my first year of graduate school (studying math at Vanderbilt), and I would add to the voices saying that you should only attend if you really like research, and probably also you should have some attraction to teaching if you’re going to be a TA. Grad school classes are fun, in that you get more chances for open-ended research, but they are also higher stress than undergraduate classes, and you can’t just coast through picking up about half the material. You have to pay attention all the time, and understand everything. At the moment I have pretty much no social life outside of school, though supposedly free time is supposed to increase in the second year. Ask me again next year and maybe I’ll have a more definite answer.