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Matthew Mordi: 3 Things You Must Consider Before Applying For That Masters

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Getting a postgraduate degree is a laudable goal. But before you enroll for masters in the University of your choosing in Nigeria, it’s important that you consider a few things.

Do You Have the Financial Capacity?
This is largely self-explanatory. For most undergraduate students, their parents or guardians pay their undergraduate tuition. The
reverse is usually the case with postgraduate students. Masters students are in most cases personally responsible for paying their tuition.

With this in mind, it means that before buying the entrance exam form, ensure you make inquiries about the cost of tuition and other ancillary expenses, something I term hidden charges. Hidden because most times students don’t know about them until they’ve commenced the program.

Your best bet will be to enquire from the school of postgraduate studies, or better still, the department you intend to apply to. The fees may vary from one department to the other. It should be a given to ask masters students, if you meet one. Such a person may give you a breakdown of the cost.

The moment you have this information, you then have a grasp of its affordability. If on the high side, you may opt for part-time instead of full-time, which is more expensive, as you’re required to pay tuition for 2 sessions and not 1.

Is Your Work Schedule Flexible?
If employed, you have to consider your work schedule before enrolling for a masters program. This is important, as it lets you know if working and schooling is something you can handle.

The truth is a master’s program in Nigeria is not a walk in the park, not necessarily because it’s intellectually challenging (my opinion), but because of the volume of group work and seminar presentations you’re expected to make.

Where the scheduling of classes is weekdays, first, find out if you can get permission from your employer to close early. In Lagos, for example, the traffic situation is daunting. This will affect your commuting around town.

If your work schedule affords you the time then you can go ahead and enroll. If your schedule is tight, you’ll need extra effort to pull it off. It may interest you to know that many students abandon the program midway because of their tight work schedule, as they can’t find the time to joggle between work and school. Don’t overlook this.

Are You Sure You Can Complete the Program?
This is self-explanatory and connected with the earlier mentioned factor. It is a fact that without willpower you most likely won’t be able to achieve anything worthwhile in your earthly existence. It is easier to start a project than see it to its logical conclusion.

This rings true, also, for master’s degree programs.

A common question people ask midway into the program, after considering the stress involved, is, “Do I need this certificate?” I had to ask myself at various times during my postgraduate studies. A number of students dropped out of the program after realizing they couldn’t cope with the stress.

Where you’re already earning a living, the thought of your existence not depending on obtaining the certificate may creep in. You may think this is absurd and doesn’t apply to you. This isn’t the case as, from conversations with several students; I realized it goes through the minds of many students.

It is my hope that you realize the task involved before enrolling for a master’s degree program. This is so considering the fact that not only do many students consider deferring or abandoning the program, some defer their admission and abandon the program entirely in the worst-case scenario.

If your conclusion to these listed factors is in the affirmative then go right ahead to pursue your dream, I wish you the best of luck in your quest!

Photo Credit: Fotos.com.ng

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