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Masters Degree and a Professional Course, Which Should I go for


Masters Degree and a Professional Course, Which Should I go for

…I had always wanted to know, and not just me but a whole lot of others. It is common practice to see fresh graduates move overseas or secure a form in an indigenous citadel of knowledge for a Masters Degree. Some, however, do not bother about the immediate advancement in academic pursuit but launch into the labour market to secure jobs. A few are successful and after some years of experience, they gun for a Masters degree.

Recently, I had an intelligent conversion with my colleagues about the topic and decided to do a little research to hear people’s views on the topic.  I sort for answers on forums and even on LinkedIn and below are best responses so far which I believe will also give you a direction as to what to do or the decision to make.

If that’s the only two options available, i will say Masters degree should be the first to get. Mostly multinational companies require masters degree as added advantage to a job that requires first degree alone, without saying professional courses most time.
As a matter of fact, most big companies will send their employees for professional courses depending on the needs of the company. But it is very rare for a company to send staff for a Master’s degree.

So professional courses may be a waste if you are not in a company first, because that particular course may not be relevant to the company. But master’s degree is versatile to fit in as to any big company.

In relation to jobs and your environment, someone has this to say

I think it also depends on some factors like the individual in question and the environment. Consider a place like Nigeria, many graduates (not all) run into masters programme just to have additional advantage in getting a job which they are not to be blamed for, ‘cos it has been seen at several job recruitment programs where those with masters qualifications are given more priority than those with only first degree or HND. Also, many will even think about remuneration and consider putting in for masters to increase their pay…
Hence, I’ll say to decide on which to do between prof. certification and masters, the person should define exactly what he or she wants and if necessary, consider the location then, it will become easier to decide

As concerning your field of study someone wrote…

It all depends on your discipline, the industry in focus and your career goals.
Taking Engineering as an example, it is far more preferable in many instances to go for a masters degree than to get professional certifications.
For graduates with zero experience, oil companies will most likely choose masters degree holders over bachelors degree holders with professional certifications (assuming their performances at the interviews are all at par)… The story is however different if you consider a course like accounting. A graduate with an ICAN or ACCA certification will most likely be placed over Masters degree holder in Accounting…

Finally, relating to being a fresh graduate and having experience someone opined that… Masters

What is the essence of amassing professional courses without a single experience?
As a fresh graduate, I will suggest one gain an employment after passing out of school to gain some work experience before proceeding to having a Masters degree.
Experience will be a huge added advantage than professional courses which may not be found pertinent to some companies.
In often times, we see job adverts demanding 2-5 years experience. One will hardly see where a professional course is mentioned. That shows that employers value years of experience than professional courses even though they could be valuable in most cases.
A fresh graduate that had just passed out of NYSC could volunteer in any company to work for free without being paid just to gain some experience as that will be an added advantage in later time when seeking a job. It is all about sacrifice. Gain that experience by sacrificing selflessly. At least no company will ward you off from working for them for free.
After gaining that first hand experience you can proceed to having a masters degree. Remember you already have 2 years and above experience. By the time you are done with your masters degree, securing your dream job wouldn’t be a difficult task to get over with.
In essence, get your first hand experience before going further to either doing any professional course or having a masters degree as employers place more emphasis on experience.

Well, I hope your opinions are formed already… To sum it up, just know which is more useful in your field and go for it. Be it a professional course or a Masters degree, simply do what you believe is best for you. Seek advice from experienced and career professional and help will come along. Do not be shy, proud or afraid to ask questions; it helps!!!

Kindly share this article and help someone make a tangible decision today…



  1. James Brown

    November 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    John, I must say I love what you are doing here and I am proud of it. Working in a recruiting firm is not enough but you being able to take time to make people understand their lapses and how to fix them makes you stand out from mediocres.

    • John Bassey

      November 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hello James, I’m glad and very grateful for your appreciation. Not being in the recruitment industry made me blind to some certain things but now that I’m in, I feel it is an obligation to people out there to know some certain things and therefore make their entry into the work place easy and smooth with the right knowledge. Thank you once again.

  2. David Damola Ogunyemi

    May 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Nice one John, more grease to your elbows.

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