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5 Ways to Gauge the Right Master’s Program for You

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April 24, 2018

Pursuing a master’s degree is one of the best decisions you can make for your career. But, choosing a program can be difficult, if not utterly overwhelming. How do you assess the many programs available and make a final decision?

Fortunately, finding the right master’s program is not so much an exercise of comparing and contrasting every program side by side, but rather, finding a program that suits your goals and preferences. Here are a few of the key factors to consider in the search for your ideal master’s program.

1. Flexibility

For many prospective graduate students, their biggest concern is uprooting or disrupting their career trajectory to “go back to school.” If you are relatively happy with where you are in life and simply want to continue to grow, consider an online-based program such as the Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Master’s Program at San Diego State University (SDSU). Being able to integrate coursework into your schedule as you see fit completely changes the complexion of committing to grad school.

2. Faculty

The role of a graduate-level professor is not just to deliver course material, but, more importantly, impart applicable knowledge that students can use in their everyday lives. When searching for a master’s program, read faculty bios with an eye peeled for leadership and professional success.

For example, our diverse team at SDSU incorporates their backgrounds as the former Chairman and CEO of Burger King Corporation, former Senior Vice President of the Pepsi-Cola Company, former VP Finance & Analysis of Catalina Restaurant Group, former President of SeaWorld San Diego, and many other high-ranking positions. These are people with a world of experience who are ready and willing to share their wisdom with you as you work toward your vision for your career.

3. Engagement

While reading is an essential component in any academic setting, a graduate curriculum should be enlightening, inspiring, and rooted in the real world. In addition to pre-recorded video lessons, HTM Master’s students enjoy live guest video lectures that are conducted similarly to TED Talks; watch a few of our favorite guest lectures from industry leaders here. Our program also culminates with a Capstone Project that positions you as a leader of organizational change.

4. Connection

We say “connection” rather than “connections” because we believe the former creates the latter. When you’re studying alongside passionate professors and fellow students who share your interests, networking happens naturally. To facilitate a truly connected cohort, we host the first and last week of our program on the beautiful campus of SDSU. These two meetups serve as bookends to the 18-month HTM Master’s experience.

5. Opportunity

Lastly, and most importantly, choose a program that aligns with where you want to go in your career and provides all of the above to help you get there. If you are looking to excel as a leader in hospitality and tourism, or seeking a career change into an exciting and rewarding industry, the HTM Master’s Program can be a catalyst for your personal and professional growth. Our alumni have gone on to hold leadership positions with the world’s most esteemed names in hospitality and tourism, including Hilton, Hyatt, Universal, and many others. We will let them tell you how the program changed their lives.

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