Anyone Pursued a Master's Degree as a Hobby?

I've completed two master's degrees in career oriented disciplines (Real Estate and Accountancy) but am considering some non-career oriented master's programs (theology, history, psychology, economics, anthropology, government) as a hobby. 

Anyone done this? Any ideas for some interesting topics or schools that have flexible/affordable programs? Nothing I'm considering is going to end up on my resume. I figure instead of watching trashy TV I could be doing something to better my mind at night. And I basically don't sleep.

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Comments (43)

May 20, 2021 - 1:12pm

How many people blow $100K on a car in this business or overly expensive real estate? If you want to spend it on education, go for it.  No more wasteful than a bunch of other crap.

Side note: If you think Wikipedia actually equates to learning about a subject, that's pretty sad.

  • VP in IB - Cov
May 20, 2021 - 2:45pm

I have an engineering degree from an Ivy and you most certainly could gather a similar knowledge base using just Wikipedia and accompanying footnotes if you were so determined. The only paths that truly require formal education are those that require apprentice-style training, like medicine. 
 

I've seen too many people blow their trust funds on collecting multiple useless masters and doctorates. People with multiple degrees also come off like they are trying to overcompensate for something or as though they couldn't figure out what to do with their lives.
 

If OP already has two masters degrees and a solid career, he does not need another. 

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Funniest
May 18, 2021 - 6:26pm

To be relevant in society today, you should probably consider a masters or PhD in Gender Studies. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 18, 2021 - 7:24pm

Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎

To be relevant in society today, you should probably consider a masters or PhD in Gender Studies. 

Liberals often ask why more conservatives don't get into social science academia if we are so frustrated with the system. One of the reasons is that there is no institution in America in 2021 that would grant a right-leaning person a PhD in Gender Studies, for example. They would simply deny the thesis and refuse to grant the doctorate. Happened to my pastor who went to a left-leaning seminary--they refused to grant him the doctorate for his right-leaning thesis. 

Array

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Most Helpful
May 18, 2021 - 8:54pm

Memberberries

Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎

To be relevant in society today, you should probably consider a masters or PhD in Gender Studies. 

Liberals often ask why more conservatives don't get into social science academia if we are so frustrated with the system. One of the reasons is that there is no institution in America in 2021 that would grant a right-leaning person a PhD in Gender Studies, for example. They would simply deny the thesis and refuse to grant the doctorate. Happened to my pastor who went to a left-leaning seminary--they refused to grant him the doctorate for his right-leaning thesis. 

Yeah I bet.

Imagine turning in a thesis for a gender studies masters/PhD and theorizing that there are in fact only 2 genders and that trans is a psychological problem. Would be rejected instantly. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 18, 2021 - 7:22pm

If you want to pursue education just for the purpose of education (the most beautiful, pure form learning imo), then do courses in fields you're interested in. If you really want to get into it, theres different lectures you can attend as well. I think for your purposes, a masters degree is too expensive and probably a lot more intensive than what you're looking for.

May 18, 2021 - 7:52pm

In a sense, I'm trying to do something like that with Urban Planning in the next couple years. I've been getting interested in the area overall and thinking of ways to tie it to finance somehow.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

May 20, 2021 - 6:01pm

Yeah I was thinking that, but personally been thinking about P3s for infrastructure type development

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

May 18, 2021 - 8:02pm

I got a masters in communications at Middlebury college. So far it hasn't gotten me anywhere, but it may help now because I am looking at getting into the NFT market. 

May 18, 2021 - 8:46pm

Well, I'd be looking at taking a class a semester. The ones I'm looking at cost as little as $0 to as much as $70k total. I've got plenty of money. 

Array

May 18, 2021 - 9:41pm

I think psychology would be an interesting masters degree or PhD.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Intern in HF - Other
May 18, 2021 - 10:18pm

I've thought about it but would want to do it abroad because the costs are much lower. Since I'd be doing it for fun I could care less about prestige as long as the program was accredited. 

Some masters I've considered are architecture, modeling and simulations, biotechnology, economics, international development, and machine learning. 

Have also thought about getting a PHD in Europe in my 50's for fun as well. 

May 18, 2021 - 11:02pm

I've thought about it but would want to do it abroad because the costs are much lower. Since I'd be doing it for fun I could care less about prestige as long as the program was accredited. 

Some masters I've considered are architecture, modeling and simulations, biotechnology, economics, international development, and machine learning. 

Have also thought about getting a PHD in Europe in my 50's for fun as well. 

Some of these topics can also give you an edge in investing.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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May 18, 2021 - 11:07pm

I'm curious how much calculus is required in an economics master's program. I was atrocious at calculus in high school/undergrad. Are we talking you're given the formulas and you plug-in the inputs? I wouldn't want a program to be a chore (to the point where I'd need a tutor).

Array

May 18, 2021 - 11:29pm

Memberberries

I'm curious how much calculus is required in an economics master's program. I was atrocious at calculus in high school/undergrad. Are we talking you're given the formulas and you plug-in the inputs? I wouldn't want a program to be a chore (to the point where I'd need a tutor).

https://economics.yale.edu/undergraduate/pursuing-a-phd

"Mathematics. Most graduate schools programs expect familiarity with multivariate calculus (for example, Math 120), linear algebra (for example Math 222, 225, or 230) and real analysis (or example Math 300 or 301). More advanced mathematics work in linear algebra, differential equations, analysis and other proof-based courses is useful preparation for graduate work."

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 3
May 19, 2021 - 12:06am

Unfortunately it is quite math intensive from what I understand. Iirc intermediate Econ at my school requires Calc 3 although fortunately I only needed the intro classes for business.

MFin is a tossup- some programs are math heavy while others aren't.

Array

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May 19, 2021 - 12:25am

Welp, there's that. I guess this is how we get socialists and communists winning Nobel Prizes in economics. They build their brilliant models that definitely 100% work to explain the world.

Array

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May 19, 2021 - 9:28am

I've also looked into this and would be happy to compare notes with anyone. 

I've found the European schools offer more of these part time masters degrees at affordable prices. Cambridge and Oxford have a wide array of continuing ed programs that require minimum on-campus involvement. Several of the top schools on the continent also offer such programs.  

Best of luck! 

May 19, 2021 - 10:45am

Any other general thoughts along these lines? I would love to build up some more cash, then go to Europe for 1-2 years in my 40s to get a masters, then come back and teach. Would be curious to know if there general requirements and if they all have testing requirements when applying. I'd love to do something with history or biology, although I haven't taken a real science class since high school.

May 19, 2021 - 1:40pm

Most of these degrees at the top schools are part time, so unless you're a UK/EU citizen, the visa may be the problem. I'm not sure about mid-career non-finance full time masters degrees at top schools in Europe. I'd imagine there is limited demand for them. On the finance side you have them there as you do in the US, as with the LBS Sloan MBA program being a great example.

May 19, 2021 - 11:39am

Oh, wow. You weren't just whistlin' Dixie. They are bizarrely affordable. Less than in-state tuition in Virginia, which is already highly affordable (by U.S. standards). For example, MA in History from University of Birmingham is something like $12,400 total. 

Array

  • Intern in S&T - FI
May 20, 2021 - 1:28am

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