Read this if you feel too old for a Master’s degree
For some unknown reason, people taking a Master’s degree are now unprecedentedly younger compared to previous generations. An increasing number of students take an MA, an MSc or an MBA right after (or 1-2 years after) they got their Bachelor’s degree, and for mature learners who have worked for a while, the prospects of returning to uni for a Master’s degree appear daunting.
I am now 28, and I have worked as a teacher of English language for roughly 6 years before I received a scholarship for an MA at Warwick. I have become very self-conscious about my age upon arriving at Claycroft: all of my flatmates are around 22-23, all young and bright, ready for their Master’s. Even among my friends back in Vietnam, I was considered a late starter in that academic path towards an MA: everybody appears to want it so much three thirds of my bachelor cohorts got it before the age of 23.
It has now been my 7th month in the UK, and I started to realise that my 6-year work experience has turned out to be one of the biggest perks.
My work experience has helped me a lot in aborbing theories and key ideas. For example, I greatly resonate with theories on second language acquisition through reflection on my teaching practice, and this has in turn helped me to get those theoretical underpinnings of Krashen, Long and Swain easier, quicker and more long-lasting. This is not to mention during my 6 years working, I have also taken different professional development courses that also tap into those concepts. As a result, I am able to finish assignments relatively fast, some of which receive promising feedback too.
In addition, working for a while gives me valuable skill sets that turn out to be very important. As a slightly more experienced human being who has failed at least 3 different scholarships, I keep my eyes wide open for opportunities (emails from the uni and from the department of Applied Linguistics are a treasure trove of opportunities which most people mistake for ads). The process of looking for opportunities has given me a place in the SSLC, a position of a part-time student blogger, and a trip to Spain for the EUTOPIA project. If I were me 4-5 years ago, I would miss those opportunities.
So, if you are 28++ and are seriously thinking of taking a Master’s at Warwick, go for it. You are never too old to learn, and your work experience is a bosom friend who will help you a lot in your study process.