Job Skills Leaving a 2nd Master's degree to accept an offer abroad

This is my first post so don't be too harsh. I was just looking to get additional opinions in order to make a more informed decision.

Since I always had the idea of becoming an astrophysicist I enrolled in Bsc in physics engineering (5 years) here, and due to being the top student I was invited to do a Msc in the same field after my 2nd year abroad in Europe (fully funded), so I decided, why not? It could give me some important connections and maybe find some PhD offers abroad.

However, at the end I wasn't able to apply to an abroad PhD due to lack of funds so I decided to start a 2-year Msc in Physics here with the option to directly access a 3-year PhD (5 years in total, like in America), as they didn't accept my abroad Masters (I know, kind of a waste I didn't know early by anyways). While I have received several jobs offer in my country due to my degree, I usually rejected them due to being poorly paid and my dream to continue doing research. However, 9 months into my current Masters I received a pretty good offer to work in America in a more applied field in engineering (due to my background in numerical analysis), with quite a good salary, so I've been considering if I should take it and leave my Master's. However, I'm afraid how could this affect my future job prospects, and if it would better to ask for one year to finish it (note that my current Master's isn't related to the job offer (my program is fully funded so I really don't pay tuition, but I would have to refund my expenses scholarship when possible).

Moreover, recently I've been kind of dissapointed with the opportunities in academia for physicists, as not only the chance of success is extremedly limited (I know a lot of PhD graduates who did their postdocs abroad and now are underemployeed) but outside America there's no really too much support for science, so PhD's are poorly paid here in Brazil. So I'm really considering that, if I don't take this job offer, I'll probably won't stay in academia after my PhD.

So I would like to ask mostly to people in America, would finishing my 2nd Master's help me in climbing positions if I get a job there? Or would it be better if I leave my program now and begin working abroad to acquire experience? I don't want to give the impression that I don't finish things, but also that I can't decide between careers.
 

CrysPhys

Education Advisor
559
264
A second master's in physics by itself won't help advance your career in the US (academic or non-academic). If you are doing a research thesis, and the knowledge and experience gained during that research happens to map into the needs of a prospective employer, that would be a plus. That's the situation you already have in hand based on your previous work and current job offer. Why jeopardize it for something that might (or might not) happen? If you want to advance your career prospects in the US based on academic credentials, you'll need a PhD in physics or a master's in a different field.
 
Last edited:

Zap

111
29
Take the job. You'd be crazy not to.
 
A second master's in physics by itself won't help advance your career in the US (academic or non-academic). If you are doing a research thesis, and the knowledge and experience gained during that research happens to map into the needs of a prospective employer, that would be a plus. That's the situation you already have in hand based on your previous work and current job offer. Why jeopardize it for something that might (or might not) happen? If you want to advance your career prospects in the US based on academic credentials, you'll need a PhD in physics or a master's in a different field.
Actually my first Master's was in engineering with terminal branch in mathematics and non-linear phenomena, hence why I wasn't accepted to a direct PhD in Astrophysics here (it is a recognized grade in the US, though). But indeed, my current research thesis is barely connected to what my current employeer offers (save for some programming aspects), so following it won't definitely help me get more experience and will only be more for pure intellectual satisfaction. But indeed, I think it would be better to go to work there and probably later apply to a PhD with university funding if I want to do more research.
 
1,778
150
Whether it's fair or not, I actually look on two masters with some degree of suspicion. But like CrysPhys said, that second masters could come with valuable skills or learnings that could quickly outweigh any bias.

Having two masters degrees definitely won't help climbing positions. You've already checked the "have a masters" box. The next question is just whether you have the skills/fit/luck necessary to be promoted.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zap

Zap

111
29
Good call. I think having multiple bachelors or multiple masters degrees gives people the impression that you're a professional student or maybe that you are kind of lost or not sure what you are doing, which is usually true for people with multiple BS and MS degrees. I met one person who has two bachelor degrees who is an exception to that.
 
Thanks for your advice. In my case my intention was always to go only for a Master's and PhD in Physics, but since I just happened to receive an scholarship and the opportunity to live abroad, I took it as it only extended my B.S. duration by one year.

In that case, on a more economic note, I would like to know what do you think a good salary is. Let's just say that I'm offered just around 50k a year, which I don't know if it's a good one given my preparation.
 
1,778
150
In that case, on a more economic note, I would like to know what do you think a good salary is. Let's just say that I'm offered just around 50k a year, which I don't know if it's a good one given my preparation.
It depends on how much you're leveraging what you've learned. For someone with a relevant masters, I don't think 50k - 60k is a bad starting salary though certainly there are people who get more. For someone with a PhD, I would think anything less than 80k would be disappointing.

However, if your education is less relevant (e.g. going into analytics with a physics degree) you might have to start lower. I mean, I know plenty of examples of people who didn't, but you need to be willing to take a hit to get in the door.

It's going to be tough to get a job in the US though. The competition from foreign workers is pretty fierce.
 

Zap

111
29
He said the job offer is in the US. Fifty thousand is a good starting salary, especially while being a foreigner with no student debt. I could make it on 20k with no debt and probably have enough to buy a car and a house.
 

CrysPhys

Education Advisor
559
264
In that case, on a more economic note, I would like to know what do you think a good salary is. Let's just say that I'm offered just around 50k a year, which I don't know if it's a good one given my preparation.
What city and state is the job offer in? The cost of living in the US varies over a large range as a function of location.
 

CrysPhys

Education Advisor
559
264
It's going to be tough to get a job in the US though. The competition from foreign workers is pretty fierce.
Precisely. Since he has an offer in hand from a US company, it would be wise for him to accept it: there appears to be little benefit from the second master's, and it's a gamble whether he'll get another offer upon completion of the second master's.
 

Want to reply to this thread?

"Leaving a 2nd Master's degree to accept an offer abroad" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving
Top