Asked&Answered: Mentioning Plans for a Second Master's When the Position Doesn't Require It

Welcome to Asked&Answered, our monthly column in which Ellen Mehling, METRO's Job Bank Manager and Career Consultant, tackles reader questions on job hunting and career development. If you'd like to send Ellen a question, please visit our submission form.


I’m applying for a position in an academic library. Would it be wise for me to mention that I want to get a second Master’s degree even though the position doesn't require one?

08152013_askedanswered.pngMany academic library positions have the second Master's as a requirement ora preferred qualification, or require the person hired to get the second Master’s within a certain specified period of time as a tenure requirement. If the job description indicates that a second Master's is preferred, then I would mention it. It sounds like that is not the case here, though, so I wouldn’t assume that your plans to pursue another degree would be a point in your favor for this position.

I'd wait to provide that info, or offer it if the hiring committee asks about future plans. Otherwise they may think you are interested in the job primarily for tuition remission, to get the second Master’s and then move on. They may be hoping to hire someone who will stay for a while.

If you do decide to go for that second Master’s degree, I would advise choosing the subject based on your interests first (of course) and in a field that is likely to be in demand. Build a combination of skills, experience, and education that is marketable and not commonplace. Consider how many others there are likely to be with that same second Master’s; they will be your competition down the road.