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View Full Version : Graduate Degrees


ArmyFW
05-12-2018, 01:15 PM
Iím about to finish my undergraduate degree in Business and Management and am looking to start a Masterís program very shortly after and I canít decide what route to take. I am stuck between choosing a finance degree from somewhere like Webster university or Georgetown online if I can get accepted, or a Masterís in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle. If I canít get accepted in a good school (My GPA is a 3.6 currently but I am graduating from a small school) for the finance degree would it be better to go to Embry-Riddle since they are a well known school? This is for a backup degree in case I lose my medical or get furloughed by an airline once I leave the Army. I have 5 years left on my ADSO.


RckyMtHigh
05-12-2018, 02:14 PM
I think I would go with something outside the aviation field. A downturn in aviation that causes you to get furloughed may also make other aviation related jobs hard to come by.

ArmyFW
05-12-2018, 02:50 PM
I think I would go with something outside the aviation field. A downturn in aviation that causes you to get furloughed may also make other aviation related jobs hard to come by.

Thatís pretty much what I thought, I was just asking around as a sanity check before I pulled the trigger.


FlightLevel350
05-12-2018, 08:15 PM
Iím also curious, would airlines look more favorably at an aviation related masters degree like the one offered at Embry Riddle or is a Finace degree good enough to check the masters degree box.

Iím asking because Embry Riddle has these random master degrees on human factors and leadership. Human factors and Leadership seem like key words on a resume that perhaps could push it over the edge, but Iím not sure. Wonder if anyone has any input on this.

kbay hombre
05-12-2018, 09:02 PM
I’m about to finish my undergraduate degree in Business and Management and am looking to start a Master’s program very shortly after and I can’t decide what route to take. I am stuck between choosing a finance degree from somewhere like Webster university or Georgetown online if I can get accepted, or a Master’s in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle. If I can’t get accepted in a good school (My GPA is a 3.6 currently but I am graduating from a small school) for the finance degree would it be better to go to Embry-Riddle since they are a well known school? This is for a backup degree in case I lose my medical or get furloughed by an airline once I leave the Army. I have 5 years left on my ADSO.

There are a lot of really good online master's degrees available. If you are using TA or Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill), and thus price isn't an issue, recommend you go for a non-aviation degree from a top 10 school. Consider the Harvard Extension School (HES). HES is VERY military friendly. Classes are almost 100% online and you can get a Master's of Liberal Arts in a host of fields including management. HES is just Harvard's name for their continuing education school. You still graduate from Harvard, get to join the Harvard Alumni Association, and your degree says Harvard University. It's kind of a unique program because your previous grades and test scores don't matter; you take 3 classes for your chosen program and as long as you get B's or better, you're admitted to your program for the remaining 8-9 classes. Did I mention you get a degree from Harvard? I went with this option using Ch 33 when I was mid-career in zone for O-5. Best decision I ever made. There is an on-campus requirement for a few classes but you can arrange it so that you only have to go on campus a few weekends total and that counts for the residency requirement.

If Harvard isn't for you, recommend you consider an online master's (like an MBA) from a high ranked brick and mortar school. You'll be tempted to go with University of Phoenix or one of the other for-profit schools, but do an online degree with a traditional brick and mortar school. I just retired and I've got a few old squad bros who are also hitting the streets and have been finding out the hard way that the online for-profit schools may check the box for a master's degree in the military but they aren't viewed as favorably by a lot of civilian employers. Food for thought in case you ever need to use the degree outside of aviation.

rickair7777
05-13-2018, 04:29 AM
The Masters itself carries much more weight than the field of study.

All else being equal, get something useful if you ever need a real job.

X2 on brand name brick and mortar, if practicable.

ArmyFW
05-13-2018, 06:03 AM
There are a lot of really good online master's degrees available. If you are using TA or Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill), and thus price isn't an issue, recommend you go for a non-aviation degree from a top 10 school. Consider the Harvard Extension School (HES). HES is VERY military friendly. Classes are almost 100% online and you can get a Master's of Liberal Arts in a host of fields including management. HES is just Harvard's name for their continuing education school. You still graduate from Harvard, get to join the Harvard Alumni Association, and your degree says Harvard University. It's kind of a unique program because your previous grades and test scores don't matter; you take 3 classes for your chosen program and as long as you get B's or better, you're admitted to your program for the remaining 8-9 classes. Did I mention you get a degree from Harvard? I went with this option using Ch 33 when I was mid-career in zone for O-5. Best decision I ever made. There is an on-campus requirement for a few classes but you can arrange it so that you only have to go on campus a few weekends total and that counts for the residency requirement.

If Harvard isn't for you, recommend you consider an online master's (like an MBA) from a high ranked brick and mortar school. You'll be tempted to go with University of Phoenix or one of the other for-profit schools, but do an online degree with a traditional brick and mortar school. I just retired and I've got a few old squad bros who are also hitting the streets and have been finding out the hard way that the online for-profit schools may check the box for a master's degree in the military but they aren't viewed as favorably by a lot of civilian employers. Food for thought in case you ever need to use the degree outside of aviation.


I just visited the website and I said that a total of 3 classes had to be taken on campus for the Harvard Extension School. How were you able to line that up while still on active duty?

crewdawg
05-13-2018, 09:08 AM
Take this from a part-time guard/full time airline guy without a masters FWIW...which isn't much.

Back when I was still full-time in the Guard, I heavily researched getting a masters, but didn't really have any TA from the military (used all my GI bill when I was enlisted). I look around at local schools, online schools and the big name schools. After taking with lots of grads of everywhere from Phoenix online, to Booth and Wharton, I came to the following conclusions;

- Most Masters have a relatively short shelf life without experience.
- Online degree mills won't get you much except promoted in the military. If that's all I wanted, I'd go for the path of least resistance and do what interested me.
- Many programs (like Booth/Wharton) more than anything, are about the name and connections. These names and connections will likely land you high paying gigs...but you'll work for it!
- There are LOTS of successful people/business owners out there without a masters (or Bachelors). Of course for some jobs, just having the paper is the price of admission.
- If the military wanted me to get a masters to promote, they should send me to a "brick n' mortar" school...and pay for it.
- If I were to get a masters on my own, I'd pursue one of the top 10 business schools.


Edit: The Harvard program above seems like a good option!

SaltyDog
05-13-2018, 10:11 AM
... looking to start a Masterís program very shortly after and I canít decide what route to take. ....This is for a backup degree in case I lose my medical or get furloughed by an airline once I leave the Army. I have 5 years left on my ADSO.

Good planning.
My observations from watching fellow Military aviators get a Masters, vast majority ended up pursuing airline/flying careers. Masters appeared to have little impact on being hired relative to peers w/o a Masters degree.
Some airlines like the cache of bragging that X% of their new hires have a 'masters or higher degree". Bragging rights only. No change in job responsibility or duties. Your a pilot.
If angling for management at an airline/corporate flying, may provide benefit if degree and experience are aligned.

Future retirements suggests masters not required for pure flying jobs in 121 world. If looking corporate, perhaps a unique fit for a corporate pilot but this is a niche like 121 management. Mostly, you will be a corporate pilot with a possible collateral job that would prefer real world experience (Aviation Safety Officer, Military Accident Investigation, etc) with masters not necessary.
Based on this, if desire corporate or 121 flying job as entry to management, then get aviation business centric degree that would match that personal goal. (Aviation management etc)
You stated that want as a furlough backup, chances are many of us go find another flying job. Speaks to our masochistic side :)
In that case, masters not needed. If lose a medical, Would obtain a masters in a field that truly interests you so you could market that degree if truly leaving aviation or decide to stay in a segment of aviation that truly interests you.
Good journeys.

kbay hombre
05-13-2018, 02:11 PM
I just visited the website and I said that a total of 3 classes had to be taken on campus for the Harvard Extension School. How were you able to line that up while still on active duty?

Yeah, these are that "residency" requirement I mentioned in my first post. Because it's still Harvard (even if it's their extension/continuing ed school), they want you to get the "Cambridge experience" by taking at least a few classes on campus. Harvard did this because of the advent of the online "diploma mill" schools that require zero time in person or on a brick and mortar campus; Harvard wants you to have some connection to the real life school.

There are ways around this and loopholes that you can take. Basically, there are a number of courses where you attend most of it online and then a few weekends or a week on campus. There are also classes you can take during January term that are on campus but it's only a few weeks total; same with summer classes, where the summer is divided up into multiple terms and each term is only 3ish weeks long. I've seen guys do everything from take leave to get all three classes done in a 3-week summer term, to guys like me who took the classes where the majority is online and there are a few weekends in Cambridge.

I personally did the master's in management at Harvard Extension School. The finance, software engineering and info management master's degrees are also highly recommended in case you ever want a non-flying job in the real (civilian) world, as all of these are very marketable (did I mention your degree says Harvard University?). I did it while on a shore tour in Norfolk and it took me about 3 years to do part time, including flying up to Boston a few weekends for two semesters to get the "residency" requirement done. A lot of Navy guys in Norfolk and Newport do HES using tuition assistance (TA). It's very affordable for an ivy league master's degree and if you have the time you can do it in 2 years.

To echo what someone else said, do NOT do a program through an online for profit school. It'll suffice for your military career but you won't be as competitive in the civilian world. If you are going to do a masters at all, and you want to do it online, do it through a reputable brick and mortar school (anything from ivy league to a state university). It makes a huge difference with civilian HR/job recruiters if you ever do need to use it in the non-aviation world.

kbay hombre
05-13-2018, 02:31 PM
By the way, there's a lot of misunderstanding on the net about what Harvard Extension School is. This is what a master's degree looks like from Harvard Extension School. HES master's degrees are conferred by the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and because FAS issues all degrees in Latin, so too are HES master's degrees. About half of Harvard's graduate schools still issue their master's degrees in Latin, the other half in English; Harvard College (the undergraduate school) stopped issuing in Latin in the early 1960's. This isn't my degree, just pulled it off the net to give you an idea. It's identical to all other master's degrees (master of arts/science) from the FAS, the only difference is it's a master's in liberal arts (Magistri in Artibus Liberalibus). As you can see, your diploma still says Harvard University. You take your classes with students from Harvard's other graduate schools, taught by tenured Harvard professors, and you get to join the same Harvard alumni association when you graduate. It's a real Harvard degree and you complete 95% of it at home. Only catch is, they use the same grading standards as the rest of Harvard, so it ain't easy. You earn it. Be prepared for serious academic rigour. The cool part though is that it's truly best-qualified by merit, not your last name or how much money you have. You earn you way into the program by doing well in your first three classes, not by test scores or "legacy" admissions status. If you can hack the academic rigour, I strongly recommend you go this route.

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-59a35099d9893ac42556e5cd156e8809.webp

155mm
05-14-2018, 07:43 AM
Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies:

https://paonline.yale.edu/

rickair7777
05-14-2018, 08:03 AM
Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies:

https://paonline.yale.edu/

This would be a good career backup and/or flexible side job. When I was looking at med school my college room-mate (who went the MD route early on) told me just to do PA, faster ROI and a lot less painful.

But there's probably going to have to be some sort of internship to get certified I would imagine?

155mm
05-14-2018, 08:31 AM
But there's probably going to have to be some sort of internship to get certified I would imagine?

Good point! Looks like there is a year of clinical rotations built into the program. The didactic coursework is online but the "hands-on" practical would be difficult to juggle with work but not impossible! I've seen airline pilots do amazing things with their schedules to become Lawyers, Doctors, PhD's, Generals, Politicians, etc. so it wouldn't surprise me. Although I doubt they have the time to comment on this forum.

bizzlepilot
05-14-2018, 03:10 PM
Iím about to finish my undergraduate degree in Business and Management and am looking to start a Masterís program very shortly after and I canít decide what route to take. I am stuck between choosing a finance degree from somewhere like Webster university or Georgetown online if I can get accepted, or a Masterís in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle. If I canít get accepted in a good school (My GPA is a 3.6 currently but I am graduating from a small school) for the finance degree would it be better to go to Embry-Riddle since they are a well known school? This is for a backup degree in case I lose my medical or get furloughed by an airline once I leave the Army. I have 5 years left on my ADSO.

My take - go with the non-aviation related Master's, and try for the best school you can get. I did an MBA from a diploma mill while in the military only for the promotion (which was a huge waste of time). I just started an MPA at USC because I actually want something I'm interested in just in case the medical goes by-by. Whichever route you go, good luck!

kbay hombre
05-14-2018, 07:00 PM
Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies:

https://paonline.yale.edu/

Yeah dude, this is an amazing looking program! I've got an old bud whose wife did the PA program at a school in Texas (in person). She literally went from graduating straight into an ER job making six figures. Healthcare is ultimate portability and PA/NP is guaranteed good money anywhere you want. If you look at the details of this program, the downside is it has a pretty gnarly set of entrance requirements (Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics). Most of these courses you have to do in-person at a local college and they require labs and are not easy, especially A&P and Biochem/Ochem. Also requires GRE's and requires some significant time spent both in clinicals and on the Yale campus, so might be hard to swing while you're an active duty pilot like the author.

Reason I went with Harvard is you can arrange it to only spend a few weeks total there to satisfy their residency requirement, they don't require GRE's or any test scores, and no prerequisites for most of their degrees, you just have to do really well in those first three classes to get into the program.

My take - go with the non-aviation related Master's, and try for the best school you can get. I did an MBA from a diploma mill while in the military only for the promotion (which was a huge waste of time). I just started an MPA at USC because I actually want something I'm interested in just in case the medical goes by-by. Whichever route you go, good luck!

+1. Was very tempted to go with a diploma mill that awarded me "life experience" for certain classes (super rigorous) or the cookie cutter staff war college master's degree. I had to do JPME at the Naval War College and had the chance to do an extra year to get a master's in strategic studies, but I pictured some civilian HR recruiter going "what the hell is strategic studies?". These options were a waste of time. Go with a good brick and mortar school, whatever you do, and get something you can actually use in a non-aviation field that you're interested in. Crap happens, and for one reason or another, a decade from now many of us could be furloughed. If you're lucky enough to have military TA or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, use it to be prepared for life after the military and life after flying.

FullFlaps
05-17-2018, 09:56 PM
If you are going the MBA route figure out if you want to go tech or finance after. Go to the brick and mortar school but only if you get into a top 10 school or then it's not worth it.

You're not going to learn anything new, most likely retaking the same classes you already took with an excuse to charge you again. The purpose of an MBA is not to learn it is to network. You will be competing with legacies at various banks / mgt consulting firms / etc. for the same internships and eventually jobs. More than half of each hiring class (in my opinion) are always people with important parents or family in the business. Even if you do get a job, finance isn't what it used to be and headcount is declining across the board at senior levels. Maybe it comes back but Volcker put a lid on big pay days for a while.

If you want to break into tech go to Stanford and network network network. The tech space is very small and you need to be well liked to break into the tech VC world. Usually you will also have to have a very strong tech background. BA in electric engineering with Computer Engineering double major from MIT and a MBA from Stanford or a law degree with xyz years at a tier 1 patent firm.

The GI Bill does not fully cover private grad school, you will still have to come out of pocket for a significant part of tuition.

usmc-sgt
05-18-2018, 03:38 AM
Almost went this way as the Harvard set up seemed very appealing for what I was trying to do and is only 45 miles away. Issue is I have 2 months of mil benefits left so it would be out of pocket. It really tipped the scales for me as it would have been an ďaccomplishmentĒ as well as a ďnice to haveĒ item. Even with a masters from Harvard, I simply donít have the mentality or fortitude to stick it out in any career that I could network into with that type of education. Whether it be business or finance, itís simply not in me. Other issue is Iím out of the military (no promotion incentive) and left seat at a major so there is no career incentive as well. I would have enjoyed the challenge had it been free, but the pros/cons doesnít work out when itís out of pocket.

Han Solo
05-18-2018, 04:03 AM
I'll give this a different spin. To me it looks like you're trying to square fill, why even bother? If you want to be an airline pilot then a master's degree is worthless once you have the job. If you're looking for a backup, then figure out what you like doing and study that instead of asking a bunch of strangers what your backup profession should be. Money is great but won't fill the void created by a soul-sucking job that happens to pay 20% more than something you enjoy doing.

ArmyRWP2018
05-18-2018, 04:09 AM
I'll give this a different spin. To me it looks like you're trying to square fill, why even bother? If you want to be an airline pilot then a master's degree is worthless once you have the job. If you're looking for a backup, then figure out what you like doing and study that instead of asking a bunch of strangers what your backup profession should be. Money is great but won't fill the void created by a soul-sucking job that happens to pay 20% more than something you enjoy doing.

Best advice is this!

kbay hombre
05-18-2018, 02:54 PM
I'll give this a different spin. To me it looks like you're trying to square fill, why even bother?

Fair point. For a lot of us who were/are career active duty, a master's degree is either required or highly recommended at a certain rank as I'm sure you know. This is why I got a master's degree. It was free (tuition assistance) and it was from the #1 university in world rankings so I would say it was time and money (as in, not my money) well spent. For anyone who is staring down a promotion board above O-4 or in certain fields, a master's is as important these days as a staff war college and JPME. For anyone else, if you are still active duty and you get free TA, I'll flip your own question on you; when it's free, why not do it? What do you have to lose by getting more education and making yourself more competitive in the civilian world when you get out?

Nothing ventured nothing gained, unless you have to pay for it yourself or you view education as an unnecessary hassle rather than a benefit added to your CV.

kbay hombre
05-18-2018, 03:05 PM
The GI Bill does not fully cover private grad school, you will still have to come out of pocket for a significant part of tuition.

Technically this is true but if you go to a traditional brick and mortar school in most cases they will have the Yellow Ribbon program. The yellow ribbon program is an agreement between the school/institution and the VA wherein the school will cover the remainder of any tuition that the VA benefits do not cover. The majority of large private and state universities are part of this program, including Stanford and every single ivy and top 20 MBA program. I'd venture to say the top 100 MBA schools are all members, meaning that as long as you have Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 GI Bill) benefits, you don't need to pay anything out of pocket, even if the school tuition exceeds the VA tuition cap.


Almost went this way as the Harvard set up seemed very appealing for what I was trying to do and is only 45 miles away. Issue is I have 2 months of mil benefits left so it would be out of pocket. It really tipped the scales for me as it would have been an ďaccomplishmentĒ as well as a ďnice to haveĒ item. Even with a masters from Harvard, I simply donít have the mentality or fortitude to stick it out in any career that I could network into with that type of education. Whether it be business or finance, itís simply not in me. Other issue is Iím out of the military (no promotion incentive) and left seat at a major so there is no career incentive as well. I would have enjoyed the challenge had it been free, but the pros/cons doesnít work out when itís out of pocket.

Completely understand. It was a LOT of work and it made my one-year staff college and fleet seminar programs that I did at the same time seem like a joke in terms of academics. FYI though in relation to one thing you said, I believe the VA will give you a semester's worth of benefits even if you've only got 2 months left; they do not typically stop benefits mid-semester, so even though you've only got 8ish weeks left of benefits, that's worth a 3-4 month semester in terms of benefits.

ducgsxr
05-22-2018, 09:35 AM
kbay hombre: Iím interested in this program, and would appreciate any info you could provide. PM sent.

kbay hombre
05-22-2018, 07:54 PM
kbay hombre: Iím interested in this program, and would appreciate any info you could provide. PM sent.

Got it, just responded.



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