Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

Forum for the GRE subject test in mathematics.
y45askel
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

Postby y45askel » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:29 pm

As of right now I am not positive if I want to do my PhD or just obtain my Master's degree and find a small 4 year liberal arts college to teach math at, or perhaps find a job in the industry.

My overall question is: Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

For example, if I wanted to work at a 4 year- small liberal arts college and for their min qualifications required a Master's degree in Mathematics or related area, would it matter if I want to a highly ranked school as opposed to a middle-tier school?

Also, once you do your PhD, does it matter where you did your Master's degree at? OR Does it only matter where you did your PhD as that is your highest degree?

Thanks!

longtm1989
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:01 pm

Re: Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

Postby longtm1989 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:05 pm

This question is easy. It depends on the people you will compete with to get the job. With more and more Phd students at the moment, the competition is very steep, even for a teaching position. So yes, it matters!! Go to the best place if you can. You will study in a more challenging environment and learn a lot more than from a crappy school. Colleges want the best employee that they can find, and getting a degree from a prestigious school is obviously an advantage. The question should be what options do you have and what are the advantage/disadvantage of these options.

ajrasmus
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:13 pm

Re: Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

Postby ajrasmus » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:25 pm

y45askel wrote:As of right now I am not positive if I want to do my PhD or just obtain my Master's degree and find a small 4 year liberal arts college to teach math at, or perhaps find a job in the industry.

My overall question is: Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

For example, if I wanted to work at a 4 year- small liberal arts college and for their min qualifications required a Master's degree in Mathematics or related area, would it matter if I want to a highly ranked school as opposed to a middle-tier school?

Also, once you do your PhD, does it matter where you did your Master's degree at? OR Does it only matter where you did your PhD as that is your highest degree?

Thanks!


For one thing, all the liberal arts schools I know of require all their professors to have PhDs. If you wanted to get a job at a community college for instance though you probably wouldn't need a PhD.

sabq
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:59 pm

Re: Does it matter where you go for your Master's degree?

Postby sabq » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:25 am

If you want an industry job, a masters in applied math with strong computational/programming skills is what you want. I heard many places may reject a person with a PhD on the basis of being "overqualified".

For teaching, you will want a PhD. First, many of the four year colleges want you to involve undergraduate students in research. Also, there is a trend now where colleges (even community colleges) are preferring to hire PhD's for their tenure positions. Yes, in the job description they may say a master's meets the requirement, but when you are competing with several PhD's for the same position, chances are they will get it.




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