A year ago when I wrote about Thing 10, I had almost finished my graduate traineeship, and had a place at UCL on the MA Library and Information Studies course. A year later of course, the end of my MA (read: dissertation deadline!) is rushing closer and closer, and I'm thinking about what I'll be doing after this is over.
On the whole I've really enjoyed my MA, I feel that I've learnt a lot, and the variety of assessments have given me experience that would have been difficult to get at work (such as writing a collection management policy, and coming up with a budget and staff structure for a library in the Management module). I was lucky enough to get a bursary for this year, but before I found out I'd got that I'd been prepared to fork out for the £5000-odd fees. It's a lot of money, but with an MA under my belt I can apply for professional roles with a bit of a pay-rise and it'll hopefully pay for itself within a few years.
I think if I hadn't got a bursary I would have still felt I got my money's worth at £5k, but as Jen shows with her pretty pink spreadsheet, next year UCL's fees will be up to £7750 for the full-time course, and City is going to be charging a whopping £9000 (there are still some relatively affordable full-time courses, such as MMU which is £4000, but in a few years I imagine they'll all be raising the fees). As Jen says, this puts the traditional masters firmly out of reach for an awful lot of people. Distance learning courses are cheaper, but aren't for everyone (I don't think that style of learning would have suited me well, I like lectures and seminars and working with other people). I really hope we don't get into a situation where there is a divide in the profession between those who can afford the qualification and those who can't, but I'm worried that this could well happen.
Doom and gloom post, sorry. :(