Professor recommends the best time to start an academic or professional master’s program
You may have asked yourself whether there is a right time to do a master’s. To answer this question and find out the best context for joining a master’s or doctoral program, FGV News interviewed Professor Thomaz Wood Junior, coordinator of the professional doctoral program at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP).
FGV’s master’s and doctoral courses are renowned for their excellence in Brazil and the rest of the world, turning out distinctive professionals and high-level researchers who make a difference in society.
When considering doing a master’s, you should reflect on your career goals and type of program. If you opt for an academic master’s, you may do so early, right after completing your undergraduate studies, or you may choose to wait a few years. On the other hand, for a professional master’s degree, it is advisable to first gain some experience in the field, including in some initial leadership roles.
Read on to see our full interview with Professor Thomaz Wood Junior. As well as the best time to sign up for a course, he also highlights differences between professional and academic master’s programs and gives some tips on the steps involved in enrolling.
When is the best time to start a professional master’s or an academic master’s?
The decision will depend on your career goals. Academic master’s and doctoral programs are aimed at training professors and researchers, while professional master’s and doctoral programs are designed to educate high-level managers and executives.
In the case of a professional master’s, some market experience is required. How many years of experience should people acquire before doing a professional master’s?
Nowadays, professional master’s students have 12 years of work experience on average. It is advisable to wait at least eight years after getting your undergraduate degree before taking this course.
Where and how can researchers work? Many are interested in academia and research, but they don’t want to become a professor. So, what work opportunities do researchers have?
Almost all the students who do an academic graduate course (master’s and especially doctorate) in business administration at FGV EAESP plan on becoming a professor and researcher.
Some may follow a career at research institutes, social organizations and government bodies, although this is slightly more common among public administration students.
When is the best moment to start a master’s?
You may begin an academic master’s as soon as you get your undergraduate degree, or you may wait a few years if you prefer.
In the case of professional master’s programs, you may begin after you have acquired professional experience, including in initial leadership roles, and when you are aiming at more senior positions. This may happen between the ages of 30 and 40.
What steps are involved in enrolling for a master’s?
The following steps are involved in starting an academic master’s: (1) Choose a field of interest within your area of activity; (2) Choose a preliminary research topic; (3) Choose a renowned institution; and (4) Diligently prepare your application.
In the case of a professional master’s: (1) Establish a medium-term career vision; (2) Identify knowledge, competencies and skills to be developed to achieve this vision; (3) Choose a renowned institution that can help you pursue this trajectory; and (4) Diligently prepare your application.
What are the benefits that a master’s course can provide?
The benefits of an academic master’s are specialized training in a research field, early immersion in academic culture, learning the scientific method, and the possibility of early involvement in teaching and research.
The benefits of a professional master’s are more sophisticated training in the field, the acquisition of a more complex understanding of organizational life, networking, professional advancement, and learning the scientific method.
To find out more about FGV’s master’s and doctoral courses, visit our website.