Will not finishing my MS hurt my employment prospects?

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Anonymous User
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Will not finishing my MS hurt my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2010 5:18 pm

I completed all of the course work for a Master's of Science program at the same university that I went to for undergrad and I actually did very well grade-wise, #1 out of about 30 students. Thing is, I have grown to absolutely hate the research I am doing, I think my thesis is complete garbage, and one of my committee members recently affirmed my feeling that my statistics are basically meaningless. I finished the coursework in the spring of 2008 and made the mistake (I guess, but it's not like I really had any choice) of taking a full time job, thinking that I was close enough to being done that I wouldn't have any problems.

Anyway, long story short, the process of finishing up and revising has drawn on for way longer than it should have, I thought I would finally be able to defend this quarter, but major issues with my statistics have come up that are going to take forever to fix, and I really feel like I would have to start from scratch to produce something I am happy with. I'm starting law school in the Fall and I don't want to spend all of my free time until then working on a thesis that I don't even think is any good. I really feel like it is not worth my while to finish, I have good professional experience, so it is not like I will have a big hole with nothing between undergrad and law school, but I am a little worried that not finishing will hurt me for post law school employment.

Any input would be appreciated.

Deferring is not an option, I already deferred a year, not to finish my thesis, but because my wife and I had a baby.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will not finishing my MS hurt my employment prospects?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 04, 2010 5:23 pm

Based on the info in your first paragraph, is it safe to assume that your MS is in statistics & that your thesis dealt with law school rankings?

Anonymous User
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Re: Will not finishing my MS hurt my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 04, 2010 5:35 pm

I cannot say for sure, but I doubt it will hurt employment prospects if you explain why you left the program in a tactful manner. People drop out of grad programs all the time to go to LS, usually Ph.D programs though. You will have to list on your resume that you "completed coursework toward an MS degree in X from Date X to Date X". Career services should be able to advise you how to deal with that. You might want to speak with them before deciding to quit the program, especially if the degree is in something that might help you get a job in say, patent or IP law.

Re: deferring, if the school won't let you defer another year, you could always withdraw and reapply, though you'd probably want to explain to the admissions office why you are doing so.

Action Jackson
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Re: Will not finishing my MS hurt my employment prospects?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 6:08 pm

Not finishing will not hurt your employment prospects, but finishing might improve them. Therefore, you should finish. Suck it up and just get it done. Who cares if your statistics are meaningless? If you can get your thesis committee to accept them and give you the degree -- which they probably will do because a Masters thesis isn't really a big deal -- then you have a graduate degree on your record to take with you.

If the alternative is to be lazy and flush the work you've done down the toilet I think the choice is easy.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Will not finishing my MS hurt my employment prospects?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 05, 2010 11:11 am

OP: Thank you all for your responses. I am now thinking that I probably will finish, I think I might quit my job a little early to make sure that I have plenty of time to take care of that and to have a little time to relax and prepare for law school. I have been really frustrated by this process and with some conflicts within my committee that have contributed to this dragging on forever, but I probably should just push on through and finish up. I'm also a little frustrated by how rigorous the program is, relative to most master's program. It is a well regarded program in my field, but it is notorious for taking people 4 our more years to finish (I wish I had realized that before I started). I think part of the problem is that I go to a school that does not offer PhD's, so this master's program is really the focus for many of the professors involved, and the research expectations are a little excessive, especially given that the program requires over a year of a full load of non-research courses. Anyway, I sent an email requesting my committee to provide me with specific recommendations for what I need to do to get the thesis accepted, and I will make my decision on whether or not to finish based on those.




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