Prefixes and vocabulary: Is doing an MA worth it?

This text is all about the cost of doing an MA. Phrases about doing an MA are highlighted and the definitions are at the bottom. There is also a section on prefixes. Also, don’t forget to do the short quiz.

As graduate unemployment rates continue to soar the prospect of pursuing a postgraduate degree seems ever more appealing. In a world of intense competition an MA may make the difference between the unemployment line or a high-flying career so why doesn’t everyone do one? The answer may have something to do with the price.

In the UK, university tuition fees have been in existence since the 1990’s and the average MA now costs around £4,000. MBA’s, on the other hand, will set you back a more unattractive £12,000 depending on the school and the specialism. If this wasn’t expensive enough, these fees are set to triple in 2012 and in doing so price many prospective students out of a university education.

British students generally finance themselves with a career development loan, worth up to £10,000. Coupled with undergraduate tuition debts, the average British student owes over £20,000 by the time they graduate from postgraduate education. Repaying this debt takes quite a long time and those unable to secure steady employment may be looking at quite a while before they are safely out of the red.

In other European countries like France, state-run Universities are free and thus attract large numbers of domestic and international applicants. What’s more, their courses go hand in hand with valuable work placements which provide excellent hands-on practical experience. And with growing numbers of graduates being employed by these same companies following their graduation there’s no wonder that these courses are oversubscribed.

Before embarking on MA study it’s worth asking yourself “is it worth it?”. After all, a Master’s can take up to 2 years and if you’re studying full-time this represents a serious unpaid career break so it makes sense to find a course that will repay this investment with interest. A good place to start is the University website. Find out if they have industry links, what previous alumni had to say about the course and what are the graduate employment rates.

MBA’s have long been popular because people believe they will double your salary and this may be true for aspiring corporate executives. Yet, for a 23 year old MBA graduate it’s not the same story. Without solid business work experience the qualification on its own may not be enough.

The decision to undertake an MA should not be taken lightly, it is demanding on your finances and time. For these reasons you should choose the right course and institution. Sheryl Cookman of Adel Recruitment Agency also points out that “a degree is just a degree, you must be able to show future employers that you have valuable skills which make you stand out.”

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There are several words in the text which have prefixes at the beginning. Prefixes are added to words to change their meaning. Here are the words with definitions of the prefixes.

Over: Oversubscribed
More than is needed
Post: Postgraduate
Re: Repay
Un: Unable/Unattractive/Unemployment/Unpaid
Under: Undergraduate


Vocabulary Glossary

To continue to soar
To increase and increase
The prospect of pursuing something
The idea of doing something
The unemployment line
The queue of people waiting to claim jobseeker money
High-flying career
To have an important job
X will set you back
X is expensive
X are set to triple
x will increase 3 times
to price many prospective students out
to make it so expensive that students will not be able to afford it anymore
to finance themselves
to pay for it on their own
Coupled with
Combined with
to secure steady employment
to find a permanent job
Out of the red
No longer in debt/owing money
to go hand in hand with
In combination with
requires you to do something
Before embarking on
Prior to starting something
Industry links
Contacts in companies
Previous alumni
Past graduates
Aspiring corporate executives
People who want to become senior employees, lke directors or CEOs
It’s not the same story
It’s completely different
Solid business work experience
A long period of full-time employment
to be taken lightly
to be viewed as not important
to stand out
to look better than the rest



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