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Should I Apply for a Specialised Master’s Programme?

Should I Apply for a Specialised Master’s Programme?

Keeping in line with the demands for specialists in the industry, colleges are now offering master’s degrees in niche subject areas such as asset management, digital anthropology and data journalism. So, while the undergraduate years develop transferable and other soft skills such as critical thinking, adaptability, resourcefulness along with a certain style of thinking, a master’s degree builds on these with specialist, subject-matter expertise. 

1) Social Sciences:

Social scientists, such as specialists in the fields of psychology, anthropology, political science and international relations among others, are needed and greatly valued for the perspectives that they add to boardrooms and strategic solutions. They bring with them effective communication and analytical skills that transcend sectors and industries. So, a specialised masters in one of the social sciences, such as the Master in Arts and Politics at the Sciences Po, France can help people from diverse backgrounds–such as academia, administration, public service research and social activism–develop the necessary tools which will help them grow in their chosen career. Apart from this, careers such as a school or college counsellor, marital therapist or behavioural scientist, among others require individuals to have a psychology degree to prepare them with the appropriate skill-sets for careers in counselling or research. The MA in Counseling Psychology offered by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, for example, allows you to specialise in general health, family therapy, children, addiction disorders and even rehabilitation. It also has the dual enrolment programme which allows you to select multiple credentials including licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). Even if you aren’t completely clear in your future career path, these courses don’t restrict employment choices to your field or a corporate job alone. A master’s degree in any of these fields is useful as they help develop transferable skills such as collaboration and lateral thinking while encouraging analytics and research skills, all of which will help you contribute to any team or industry you choose to collaborate with in the future.

2) Finance:

A popular choice for postgraduate education, a Master in Finance focuses on building numerical acumen in all aspects of finance. The topics covered will usually be general in nature and include capital markets, accounting and quantitative methods, along with more specialised electives such as hedge and investment strategy. However, the finance field is extremely broad so if you know the subset of the field in which you would like to work, consider a programme that emphasises that. For example, Yale School of Management’s asset management programme focuses on investment theory, factor investing and risk management. On the other hand, Cass Business School’s insurance and risk management programme explores topics such as insurance and law regulation, accounting and financial management and risk analysis and modelling, among others. Apart from enhancing your inherent strengths in the field of finance it also offers a diverse environment creating opportunities to broaden your understanding of markets around the globe. 

3) Education:

Most people assume that a master’s degree in education will only result in a teaching credential. However, since the primary, secondary and higher education institutions are preparing to embrace a system of learning that is global yet unique, they require skilled specialists who can dictate the direction of international education and be creators of dynamic course curricula. This is where a specialist master’s programme comes in. Programmes such as New York University’s MA in International Education,  Harvard University’s Higher Education Program and the University of British Columbia’s curriculum studies programme will help you gain in-depth knowledge of your area of interest. These programmes will also enable you to take up various roles post your education such as a department head or an education policymaker. You will also be able to support private players that partner with international funds to work towards the development of education.

4) Fashion, Music and Creative & Performing Arts:

Despite India’s rich cultural heritage, few people wish to pursue the creative arts formally at the master’s level. However, there is a broad and sector-specific need for professionals in each of these fields, both in India and abroad, which is reflected in the growing number of programmes available internationally. For instance, if you are interested in designing costumes for live performances and film, the London College of Fashion offers an MA Costume Design for Performance that combines theory and practice. Similarly, there are a number of courses that focus specifically on brand management such as ESSEC’s Executive Masters in Luxury Management and Istituto Marangoni London’s Fashion and Luxury Brand Management. In the field of music and the performing arts, programmes such as the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Sound Recording Technology programme and Leeds Beckett University’s MA in Music Production are some examples of programmes that combine technical and managerial skills. 

While specialists are created by virtue of their deep engagement with their subject, it is imperative for you to spend some time in first understanding your interests, strengths, goals and then research the various programmes that would fit your needs the best. If you require further assistance in discussing your profile, finding the right programme for you, help with writing your statement of purpose or have any other questions, get in touch with us.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?