MSc subject decision.

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
I recently completed a BA(Hons), and to my suprise I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m not as solid as thought, and I’m keen for more.
I’m looking to continue studying and have been looking at starting a MSc in Management this year (March), with Lincoln Uni. I’m considering specialising the degree further with a marketing add on, or supply chain management.
Does anyone have any experience in these ares? Would the additional line of ‘Management with Marketing’ be more attractive to potential employers than just ‘Management’.
Just to add context I’m not solely focusing on a either pathway, just wondering which may appear more worthwhile in the real world for any management role.

I have 3 years to push, so preparing to leave is at the forefront of my mind atm.

Cheers!
 
Personally I would go with data analysis or similar. It isn't as frightening or difficult as it might seem and would be pretty marketable in a wide variety of careers. Alternatively, see if there is a 'law' add on, its boring but again, really not difficult. Just to add that you might have a 'research methods' requirement regardless of which way you go.
 
When men were men and sheep were frightened (circa 1987) the RAOC and the RAF sent people to UMIST (as it was then) for a year to do a Diploma/Masters in Management Science with a thesis at the end. Of course HMF tried to direct the thesis towards HMF (as they were paying for the Students and the course :) ). The course consisted of Social Sciences bits, some statistics, logistics etc

My thesis was "The Selection and Assessment of Personnel Involved in High Risk Occupations using Psychometric Testing". I was an ATO!

In subsequent employments the fact is that my thesis was never mentioned at all and it was the MSc qualification bit subsequent employers were interested in and not the MSc course contents as such. As such my advice would be crack on and fill your boots. Do what you fancy unless you intend to become involved in a highly niche employment area which requires ultra special skills.

Edited to add I just saw the @Kinch bit. Research Methodology was a must.
 

ancient_lbv

Old-Salt
I think they also offer a Management with Project Management pathway? I'd be tempted by that, followed by supply chain, followed by marketing based on the gaps I see in various organisations...
 

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
Personally I would go with data analysis or similar. It isn't as frightening or difficult as it might seem and would be pretty marketable in a wide variety of careers. Alternatively, see if there is a 'law' add on, its boring but again, really not difficult. Just to add that you might have a 'research methods' requirement regardless of which way you go.
I must admit the statistics element of my last course was the most difficult.
I think they also offer a Management with Project Management pathway? I'd be tempted by that, followed by supply chain, followed by marketing based on the gaps I see in various organisations.Personally I would go with data analysis or similar. It isn't as frightening or difficult as it might seem and would be pretty marketable in a wide variety of careers. Alternatively, see if there is a 'law' add on, its boring but again, really not difficult. Just to add that you might have a 'research methods' requirement regardless of which way you go.
I think they also offer a Management with Project Management pathway? I'd be tempted by that, followed by supply chain, followed by marketing based on the gaps I see in various organisations...
Yeah I considered that too, I plan on doing PRINCE2 and the APM pathway as part of resettlement. Not sure whether I would be kicking the arse out of it by having an MSc in the subject with out the experience tho.
 

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
When men were men and sheep were frightened (circa 1987) the RAOC and the RAF sent people to UMIST (as it was then) for a year to do a Diploma/Masters in Management Science with a thesis at the end. Of course HMF tried to direct the thesis towards HMF (as they were paying for the Students and the course :) ). The course consisted of Social Sciences bits, some statistics, logistics etc

My thesis was "The Selection and Assessment of Personnel Involved in High Risk Occupations using Psychometric Testing". I was an ATO!

In subsequent employments the fact is that my thesis was never mentioned at all and it was the MSc qualification bit subsequent employers were interested in and not the MSc course contents as such. As such my advice would be crack on and fill your boots. Do what you fancy unless you intend to become involved in a highly niche employment area which requires ultra special skills.

Edited to add I just saw the @Kinch bit. Research Methodology was a must.
If I’m honest non of the subjects I mentioned really excite me. I’m mainly doing it to stand out on a CV. Although I’ll probably leave that out of the personal statement!
I’m leaning toward Marketing, mainly for the consumer psychology aspect. Which does less dry than the rest.
 
Have you considered doing an MBA rather than an MSc? An MBA takes a more practical, holistic view of business, covering the whole range of business management and development fields while an MSc has a more focused, theoretical approach.

If you are unsure where you want to go in your second career, an MBA is a good way to go as you will finish knowing how businesses work. There’s a subtle difference between that and understanding the science of management theory.

As for the marketing module on an MSc, I don’t think it will make the slightest difference to how employers view your CV.
 

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
Have you considered doing an MBA rather than an MSc? An MBA takes a more practical, holistic view of business, covering the whole range of business management and development fields while an MSc has a more focused, theoretical approach.

If you are unsure where you want to go in your second career, an MBA is a good way to go as you will finish knowing how businesses work. There’s a subtle difference between that and understanding the science of management theory.

As for the marketing module on an MSc, I don’t think it will make the slightest difference to how employers view your CV.
Yeah I’ve looked at a few, I’ve read conflicting information re MBAs tho. Some say it’s is better to have an accredited one, which cost 15k and then some, and others say it’s more about reputation of the provider.
I figured an MSc from a good uni would still stand out on a CV, along with 22 years of varying managerial experience. But....tbh it’s confusing the shit out of me o_O I’m probably thinking too far into it.
 
Yeah I’ve looked at a few, I’ve read conflicting information re MBAs tho. Some say it’s is better to have an accredited one, which cost 15k and then some, and others say it’s more about reputation of the provider.
I figured an MSc from a good uni would still stand out on a CV, along with 22 years of varying managerial experience. But....tbh it’s confusing the shit out of me o_O I’m probably thinking too far into it.
You should 'dream' a bit to find out where you would like to be. Personally, I would go for an MSc with Public Admin and Research Methods = NHS, Law Enforcement, Security Services, Politics, Academia (conflict resolution) and so on - reasonably secure employment too.
 
Yeah I’ve looked at a few, I’ve read conflicting information re MBAs tho. Some say it’s is better to have an accredited one, which cost 15k and then some, and others say it’s more about reputation of the provider.
I figured an MSc from a good uni would still stand out on a CV, along with 22 years of varying managerial experience. But....tbh it’s confusing the shit out of me o_O I’m probably thinking too far into it.
IMHO few employers look at where the degree came from or are particularly interested in its content. I doubt your choice of Masters, let alone it’s specialisms, will make the slightest difference. The important thing is that you will have invested in business focussed study at Masters level.

What often does matter is the ability to talk confidently and ask informed questions about the organisation you want to join. Understand how it fits together, what the key functions are and how to analyse its performance.

An MBA will give you an overview of all of the functions of a business; everything from strategic leadership through operations process design, marketing, HR, corporate finance and, of course, operational management. It should be practical; lots of example based study. Or should also have a significant entrepreneurial bent.

A Masters in Management will focus on the process of management. It’s more theoretical and less practical than an MBA. It will give you a deeper understanding of operations management, but will only give a high level view of all of the other disciplines of running a business.

I think @Kinch is dead right when he says you should do some dreaming. Don’t focus on getting a job, focus on getting the job that you really want.

Last thoughts; do something you are going to enjoy studying! And you can always do another Masters later.
 

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
Personally I would go with data analysis or similar. It isn't as frightening or difficult as it might seem and would be pretty marketable in a wide variety of careers. Alternatively, see if there is a 'law' add on, its boring but again, really not difficult. Just to add that you might have a 'research methods' requirement regardless of which way you go.
Thanks for the advice. After constantly going back and forth I have finally whittled my choices to two; Management with Law, through Sunderland Uni, or Business and Management through Northumbria....being originally from the NE is a happy coincidence, the fact they both have a campus in the SE is ideal too.

The management with law does seem like a challenge, however, there is no research methods module, would this make a significant difference? The Business and Management is also interesting and has the added bonus of being accredited by the AASCB. I am currently leaning toward Northumbria.

Anyone with real-world (civvy) experience offer any further advice here, which one would give the best ROI?

I plan to go firm this weekend.
 
Thanks for the advice. After constantly going back and forth I have finally whittled my choices to two; Management with Law, through Sunderland Uni, or Business and Management through Northumbria....being originally from the NE is a happy coincidence, the fact they both have a campus in the SE is ideal too.

The management with law does seem like a challenge, however, there is no research methods module, would this make a significant difference? The Business and Management is also interesting and has the added bonus of being accredited by the AASCB. I am currently leaning toward Northumbria.

Anyone with real-world (civvy) experience offer any further advice here, which one would give the best ROI?

I plan to go firm this weekend.
First, good to hear that your are drilling down into where you need to be. My only other comment, and remember, I am at the other end of the career spectrum - it can influence things at the personal level. I would think the choice is this. Business and Management will equip you with all the relevant skills you need to enter the job market in a wide range of possibilities............but, the most rewarding will need you to be a fighter, not always, or ever perhaps, the nicest of guy. It will be tough going at times and, frankly, if it isn't, its not going to be up to much.

Alternatively Management with Law opens up another wide range of different possibilities, equally challenging, but possibly more potential to do good. The higher you climb, the 'gooder' you are doing, not only for your firm/client but also for yourself. In the first choice, you are always aiming at some economic target. In the latter, you might obtain a lot more than personal security.

What ever you do, never, ever, give up. You'll get there, just one foot after the other - its a stimulus image you can see very easily. All the best.
 
North Wales does an MBA for around 6K by distance.

I agree with @bobthebuilder about doing an MBA. The reasons why:

When MBA's kicked off many moons ago they were intended for people who were already in the world of work. Generally they would be in the middle to senior-middle management level and wanted to go for the top level jobs. The MBA was intended to throw them into subjects which the top people needed an overview of, but not a detailed, nitty gritty understanding. You have been at it for years so it is not as if you are a beginner, but in order to complement your military way of thinking an MBA would work well.

Why management with law? Most business/management related degrees have a law module in them anyway to cover the basics applicable to business/management. In the UK the Mrs used to employ kids with LLB's (who had decided they did not want to be lawyers) to work in the compliance department the most they would ever achieve in the legal field with an LLB is being a senior clerk. If there is a legal issue facing a company they employ a lawyer, someone who did a bit of law on whatever course is nothing more than an administrative bag carrier. I did the Common Professional Exams of the Law Society because I thought it might be useful to have a legal qualification when the the Data Protection Act was launched, and quite honestly my legal expertise is as useful as tits on a bull.

The BIG question: Do you know what you want to do when you leave? The reason I ask is that when I left after 10 years I thought I wanted to do IT, be at the cutting edge of the new world order, so I spent 8 years picking up 4 impressive peices of paper, doing project work for investment banks & a car manufacturer, and getting letters after my name. Then, I actually discovered when push came to shove I enjoyed fixing up houses (which I had been doing whilst at uni) more than sitting behind a desk designing data warehouses and intelligent bots to dig out predictive patterns in mahoosive data sets. I went back to school and learnt plumbing and gas-fitting, over the years I have been back to school regularly learning electrics, bricklaying, some air conditioning stuff, and at the moment I am doing a graduate certificate in construction project management. So it is worth having a serious mull over what you want to do.

Also, when you do pop out of the other end don't sell yourself short and take any old job. The Mrs being HR discriminates positively for ex-military types, she did in the UK and she does in the US, because she knows she can rely on them to have a decent work ethic and common sense. Former SNCO's with qualifications she employed for the bank in the UK are now earning 6 figures + bonus, over here she onboarded the former OC of one of the Top Gun training Wings and he is happily pulling in over $500K now working for the bank, nice bloke, he did an MBA in his last 3 years in the Navy. Most former service personnel have a habit of selling themselves short even if they are well qualified. Have a google around Major Sam McGrath, former para, look at his quals and see what he is doing nowadays.
 

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
North Wales does an MBA for around 6K by distance.

I agree with @bobthebuilder about doing an MBA. The reasons why:

When MBA's kicked off many moons ago they were intended for people who were already in the world of work. Generally they would be in the middle to senior-middle management level and wanted to go for the top level jobs. The MBA was intended to throw them into subjects which the top people needed an overview of, but not a detailed, nitty gritty understanding. You have been at it for years so it is not as if you are a beginner, but in order to complement your military way of thinking an MBA would work well.

Why management with law? Most business/management related degrees have a law module in them anyway to cover the basics applicable to business/management. In the UK the Mrs used to employ kids with LLB's (who had decided they did not want to be lawyers) to work in the compliance department the most they would ever achieve in the legal field with an LLB is being a senior clerk. If there is a legal issue facing a company they employ a lawyer, someone who did a bit of law on whatever course is nothing more than an administrative bag carrier. I did the Common Professional Exams of the Law Society because I thought it might be useful to have a legal qualification when the the Data Protection Act was launched, and quite honestly my legal expertise is as useful as tits on a bull.

The BIG question: Do you know what you want to do when you leave? The reason I ask is that when I left after 10 years I thought I wanted to do IT, be at the cutting edge of the new world order, so I spent 8 years picking up 4 impressive peices of paper, doing project work for investment banks & a car manufacturer, and getting letters after my name. Then, I actually discovered when push came to shove I enjoyed fixing up houses (which I had been doing whilst at uni) more than sitting behind a desk designing data warehouses and intelligent bots to dig out predictive patterns in mahoosive data sets. I went back to school and learnt plumbing and gas-fitting, over the years I have been back to school regularly learning electrics, bricklaying, some air conditioning stuff, and at the moment I am doing a graduate certificate in construction project management. So it is worth having a serious mull over what you want to do.

Also, when you do pop out of the other end don't sell yourself short and take any old job. The Mrs being HR discriminates positively for ex-military types, she did in the UK and she does in the US, because she knows she can rely on them to have a decent work ethic and common sense. Former SNCO's with qualifications she employed for the bank in the UK are now earning 6 figures + bonus, over here she onboarded the former OC of one of the Top Gun training Wings and he is happily pulling in over $500K now working for the bank, nice bloke, he did an MBA in his last 3 years in the Navy. Most former service personnel have a habit of selling themselves short even if they are well qualified. Have a google around Major Sam McGrath, former para, look at his quals and see what he is doing nowadays.
If I am honest I am still unsure exactly what I want to do. I keep defaulting to the vague 'management'. I'm a medic, so the most familiar sector would be healthcare, although it would not be my first choice.
I considered Management with Law purely for variation, something a bit different. I figured it would not harm to have a portion of that knowledge going into a new business environment. My BA was Business Management, the MSc is pretty much the same title but the modules are completely different.

I have looked at a few MBA's but I hear conflicting opinions about them, mainly accredited v un-accredited. Obviously, the accredited are mega expensive.

Major Sam McGrath- impressive! wish I had his knees!
=D
 

Iqbal Achieve

Old-Salt
First, good to hear that your are drilling down into where you need to be. My only other comment, and remember, I am at the other end of the career spectrum - it can influence things at the personal level. I would think the choice is this. Business and Management will equip you with all the relevant skills you need to enter the job market in a wide range of possibilities............but, the most rewarding will need you to be a fighter, not always, or ever perhaps, the nicest of guy. It will be tough going at times and, frankly, if it isn't, its not going to be up to much.

Alternatively Management with Law opens up another wide range of different possibilities, equally challenging, but possibly more potential to do good. The higher you climb, the 'gooder' you are doing, not only for your firm/client but also for yourself. In the first choice, you are always aiming at some economic target. In the latter, you might obtain a lot more than personal security.

What ever you do, never, ever, give up. You'll get there, just one foot after the other - its a stimulus image you can see very easily. All the best.
Thank you. I've seen too many blokes get to their last year and start flapping. Fortunately, I have always had good role models who offered good advice along the way.
I'm leaning toward Business and Management currently, due in part to Northumbria having a better understanding of hosting military students.....and the graduation would be in Newcastle :party:
 

napier

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest getting on LinkedIn and connecting with former colleagues. Spend time networking, chatting and finding out more about various roles/sectors from the horse's mouth. When the current unpleasantness is over, go and visit businesses to get the feel. But start with a bit of self-analysis; what do you like/dislike about your current work (desk work vs open air, etc.), what sort of people do you like? Whereabouts do you want to settle? This can have a bearing on job/industry availability. I'm 50, left 8 years ago, doing an MBA - but still don't know what I want to do when/if I grow up..
 
I think they also offer a Management with Project Management pathway? I'd be tempted by that, followed by supply chain, followed by marketing based on the gaps I see in various organisations...
Good call. There is a big push on recruitment into PM, and a good place to network with ex HMF who have gone before.
 
Thanks for the advice. After constantly going back and forth I have finally whittled my choices to two; Management with Law, through Sunderland Uni, or Business and Management through Northumbria....being originally from the NE is a happy coincidence, the fact they both have a campus in the SE is ideal too.

The management with law does seem like a challenge, however, there is no research methods module, would this make a significant difference? The Business and Management is also interesting and has the added bonus of being accredited by the AASCB. I am currently leaning toward Northumbria.

Anyone with real-world (civvy) experience offer any further advice here, which one would give the best ROI?

I plan to go firm this weekend.
I think @Effendi’s advice and personal experience is very pertinent. Your post service career will probably be very different from anything you plan or envisage now.

My personal view is that the specific qualification is largely irrelevant. What might matter is that you have studied business at a Masters level. On the other hand, it might not make the slightest bit of difference.

Before committing, I’d have a good look around MOOCs (Coursera etc) and try stuff out. Claim poverty and do them for free. Something might fire your passion. If it does, indulge it!

Point being, if you are passionate about something, you’ll succeed. If you just want to be a manager, all you’ll ever be is grey middle management.
 

HE117

LE
RIckshaw Major and I have had roughly parallel careers, although I did my first degree at UMIST and my masters at Shriv. I ended up going into academia when I left regular service, and designed and delivered both BSc and MSc courses..

My advice generally to folk embarking on MSc is to be honest with themselves, and understand that the big hurdle in an MSc is the dissertation. Never forget that the aim of the course is to end up with the three letters after your name! You need to select a subject area for your dissertation that contains sufficient material for you to carry out the research and produce acceptable results. Modern research practice has regrettably become somewhat onanistic, and unless you can produce sufficient named references and bibliography you will struggle even though you may have stumbled on the key to cold fusion or the cure for the common cold..!

The other choice you need to make is the balance between taught and research oriented masters courses. Taught masters are closer to undergraduate courses, where you are given specific instruction and are examined on it, with an "add on" dissertation. These used to be called "conversion masters" as you did not need to have a related undergrad qualification. They have become more popular in recent years as they are easier to recruit to (and can be constructed from recycled undergrad material)! I however think they are of less value, and the cynic in me thinks they are mainly used to screw more money out of idiot foreign students..!

As in any purchase, you should always follow the principle of Caveat Emptor, and be careful in your choice.. A degree can never create a silk purse out of a sow's ear, however the better the fit between you, the subject and the institution, the greater the chance of you gaining the maximum from the experience. The higher the level of the degree, the greater the responsibility is on the student to pick up what is offered. Good Masters level courses should be about the opportunities you get to access knowledge and information rather than what you end up with. That said, the value of the Masters is probably more based on the reputation of the institution than on your efforts! You need to think about this..!

The MBA v MSc debate is down to the generalist v specialist argument.. the MBA is a fairly recent American import, and still has a bit of a snake oil reputation in some quarters. You will not be surprised to know that my view is that a "generalist" masters degree is something of a contradiction in terms. Too often it has been used as a means of guilding an otherwise unimpressive CV! I wouldn't hire one!
 

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