Which masters is better investment?

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ktd
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Which masters is better investment?

Post by ktd » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:56 am

Let's say a person has 2 choices: distance learning masters at UT Austin or distance learning masters at Columbia. Employer will reimburse 100% for UT but not at all for Columbia. So, would you tell your son/daughter to go to UT or Columbia?

JohnFiscal
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by JohnFiscal » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:13 am

Well, for engineering UT-Austin is a top school. So I'd see no harm at all in that choice. But then isn't Columbia's school of journalism top-drawer as well? Guess it depends on the field. And from there, decide on the cost-benefit analysis.

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mbk734
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by mbk734 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:20 am

Depends on the major, but I would probably take free (UT is a good school) over Ivy League tuition (debt) and prestige.
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srt7
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by srt7 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:04 pm

ktd wrote:Let's say a person has 2 choices: distance learning masters at UT Austin or distance learning masters at Columbia. Employer will reimburse 100% for UT but not at all for Columbia. So, would you tell your son/daughter to go to UT or Columbia?
Columbia. UT is a good school but is currently riding on Austin's over-hyped wave.
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livesoft
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:29 pm

Not only does it depend on the major (what the Masters degree will be in), but it will also depend on where one wants to work afterwards. Since UT-Austin will be paid for, one can surmise that the potential student is perhaps living in Texas and not NYC. I know students and professors at both schools (but who knows what the major is?), so I can tell you that the folks who live in NYC will recommend Columbia and the folks who live in Texas will recommend UT. You might ask respondents where they live, too. What would someone from Illinois or California answer? :)

Full disclosure: I lived in NY and now live in TX.

Oh, one can first do UT-Austin for no cost and later do Columbia, too. :)
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flyingbison
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by flyingbison » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:34 pm

Yes, it all depends on the particular program, and the person's field of work. Generally speaking, though, I'd say that most online/distance degree programs cost way more than they are worth, so I'd opt for the free one.

Postmon
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Postmon » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:47 pm

When I was hiring, an Ivy degree always stood out......sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad :twisted:

davebarnes
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ROI?

Post by davebarnes » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:02 pm

Well, my daughter graduated undergrad from Columbia.
I hate Texas.

So, UT for the FREE win!
A nerd living in Denver

livesoft
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Re: ROI?

Post by livesoft » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:12 pm

davebarnes wrote:Well, my daughter graduated undergrad from Columbia.
I hate Texas.

So, UT for the FREE win!
Clearly, you hate NYC worse than TX, but didn't say so. :) Or perhaps Columbia is still bugging you to donate to them.
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Gropes & Ray
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Gropes & Ray » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:27 pm

My degree from a highly ranked law school doesn't mean crap to the attorneys in my city, which is nowhere near the law school. They surely do love the grads of the local tier 4 law schools, though. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

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TxAg
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by TxAg » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:27 pm

The type of degree matters, but what kind of money are we talking?

Free is free, but what does Columbia cost? $15k might be doable whereas $60k isn't. Assuming the Ivy league is first choice, there is probably a tipping point somewhere based on cost.

I'd probably steer my kid towards UT, but I'm a native so my judgment is biased.

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Aptenodytes
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Aptenodytes » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:37 pm

You really want to find out specifically what kind of success graduates of the two programs are experiencing. The admissions office of the two programs ought to be able to give you very specific answers; if they waffle they are covering something up. Due diligence requires seeking out recent graduates and probing them for information as well. The child should also ask the employer about the two programs. Which one would do most for a person's career at that company. If the child seeks advancement outside the current company, then he/she needs to check with other companies representative of future career ambitions.

There are probably reviews of the two educational programs available online. Distance learning programs vary quite a bit in how much interaction is provided with faculty, and in the overall quality of the experience. Try to find out how they operate with some specificity.

For something like this you can't really go by overall reputation of the university as a whole.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by BolderBoy » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:38 pm

ktd wrote:Let's say a person has 2 choices: distance learning masters at UT Austin or distance learning masters at Columbia. Employer will reimburse 100% for UT but not at all for Columbia. So, would you tell your son/daughter to go to UT or Columbia?
Will you see a pay raise or other work-related benefit to getting a Master's at all?

Sachay
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Sachay » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:43 pm

If this is just a resume padder, then UT is free and the obvious choice.

If you are changing fields, then go with the school with the best reputation in the area they'd like to end up in, factoring in the cost and financial situation of course.

Cheryl604
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Cheryl604 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:47 pm

I know I definitely got my current job because of my masters degree from an ivy alma mater. I've been told so, more than once. So, definitely depends on the field, but my degree beat out several candidates with degrees from local universities. YMMV.

Cheryl

Zecht
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Zecht » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:52 pm

The safest bet is to go with the free option (UT), and focus on doing something useful. In any STEM fields it matters far more what your thesis and expertise is in rather than the name of your institution. Ivys are certainly good for certain majors, but the majority of STEM related professionals I meet and work with are all state university grads that got to prestigious positions with only state school degrees. It's all about how well you can sell yourself in those cases.

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msi
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by msi » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:40 am

Base this decision on whether the additional earning power and job opportunities you'd expect to get from the Columbia masters will be worth it. If it will, Columbia. If not, UT.

uglystickrules
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by uglystickrules » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:27 pm

The profession the student enters into matters most - STEM/earth sciences - UT, all others - Columbia

I would go to UT - it's a large regional university capable of providing an education compatible to the Ivies - some would call it a public or Southern Ivy. Austin is growing by leaps and bounds. Columbia is practical from an academic standpoint but the area has more competition from other schools - NYU, Princeton, etc. - UT is almost competitor free except for Baylor, SMU, TCU all of which are nearly a hundred miles away if not farther. Means college graduates from there have more bargaining power. BUT - if I'm getting an English, economics, or philosophy degree - Columbia. Math, petroleum engineering, or geology - UT. Plus in your case it's free.

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Raymond
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Re: Which masters is better investment?

Post by Raymond » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:48 pm

Still wondering what field the master's is in, as the OP has not yet replied.
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