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Should I attend a likely lesser university, PSU in Pittsburg, Kansas, for a graduate degree in history, or should I attend the University of Minnesota for a second bachelors degree in psychology? All of this is aimed at eventual graduate work in philosophical counseling and the history of philosophy. I want to take the time to read and study ancient philosophy in depth so that I can teach it, but I'm also pretty sure that I have the ability to become a decent philosophical counselor and have spent a good deal of my time thinking and reading about it. The U is a stretch financially at the moment, but I might be able to make it work. Financial aid is sparse for a second bachelors degree. This is why there is even a question. I can definitely afford to live in Pittsburg, KS and I do like it there and I can go to PSU and sort of revive my rusty study habits (3.5 yrs since graduation) in a slightly less rigorous setting, most likely, that I should be able to receive adequate loans for. If I can manage to pay for 13 credits at the U, the rest are free. That is one semester, with tuition around 18k. Living in Minneapolis is very expensive too, all the amenities are higher and rent averages 600 just for a room. I have a lot of history there and friends, but haven't lived there in some time. I also have friends and history in Pittsburg whom I've seen more recently. I have no idea what to do at this point. Looking at both acceptance letters, reading them back to back, over and over, and feeling paralyzed. School starts in January.

marked as duplicate by Buzz, scaaahu, user3209815, Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩, corey979 Oct 29 '18 at 10:00

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I would probably look into contacting some graduate programs for Philosophical Counseling that you are desiring to get into and ask them what would be better for you.

But for my personal opinion, the second Bachelors does not seem like a good idea.

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This really depends on your personal factors; there's no one-size-fits all answer to your question. Thus, your question is likely to be closed. Still, I'll take a stab at it.

Disclaimer: my background is physics and CS, so I'm completely unqualified to answer your question. Feel free to disregard everything I say.

Nonetheless...

I don't think a master's degree in history from Pittsburg State (not to be confused with the University of Pittsburgh) will get you very far on the academic job market. Of course, good work speaks for itself, and PSU may be better regarded if you want to stay in/near Kansas long term. But jobs teaching history (particularly at the college level) are very competitive and not terribly well paying. $18K per semester seems very high given that reality.

But, I don't like your other option much better. Minnesota is a well-regarded school, but this is even more expensive and gives you a lower degree in another field with high supply and low demand. I do not know what the job market for "philosophical counseling" may be, but I suspect that it's also competitive and not very well paying. You could well end up spending $100K (or, worse, taking out $100K in student loans) to get this bachelor's and then a master's, only to end up with the same job you have now.

My advice is to calculate the full cost between now and graduation for both of these options, and weigh that against the (realistic) job prospects that these will open for you. You may well want to consider other options altogether. It is admirable that you want to go back to school, but I would really hate to see you invest so much time/money and end up without a viable path to a job.

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