I'm currently applying to a masters program in a field unrelated to my current line or work. I am lucky to have a job that I love in a different field. Will this make the admissions committee question my commitment to their program? I am satisfied with my current job, but the Masters would enable me to try and do my dream job.

In case it's relevant, my PhD is in physics, and the Masters is in Computer Game Engineering. I am applying to a one year, full time taught Masters at a UK institution. (Related to this question.)

3 Answers 3


Giving the impression that you might be a person who doesn't stick around for long can indeed be a negative when job hunting (although there are exceptions). I suppose conceivably it might be a problem for some PhD admissions scenarios. But I can't imagine it would affect you when applying for a masters. They just want to be confident that you will stay for one year -- and the life story that your CV tells will not throw that into question!

I once read about a musician, top in his instrument, with a successful concertizing career, who went back to school to study medicine, and then after ten years practicing medicine successfully, went back to concertizing. From that we see that if you're good, you're good, and that's what people care about.

One of the things that makes you good is that you are not afraid to follow your nose, and pursue things you want to learn more about. You don't need to hide that.


If it is a full time master, I strongly advise you against having a job, especially a full-time one, at the same time. I don't know what the degree you're applying for looks like, but a master's course is usually pretty demanding and requires a lot of personal work. By pursuing two full-time activities at the same time, I think you put both of them at risk.

  • I would leave my job but I was worried the reaction would be why would you want to change direction if you already have a job that you love? I should have been more clear with my question. Sorry about that
    – Beetroot
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 15:40
  • @Beetroot Only you have the answer to that. Why do you want to change direction if you already have a job that you love? What is your project? I don't think people at uni admissions are here to pass judgment on your life choices. They are here to assess whether you are qualified for the degree you're applying for.
    – Eusebius
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 16:14

A person qualified in another area (such as a Phd in Physics) who wanted to learn a new topic (like computer game development) would likely be welcomed on a full-time taught masters course. Full-time taught masters courses are often designed for those who want a change in direction and have the motivation to focus for the year to achieve that goal.

There are people who want to be an astronaut, for example, who go back and learn new skills and knowledge and collect several degrees in the process.

You do have to have an interregnum in employment, as a full-time course is exactly that. A lot of daily, weekly and monthly time needs to be devoted to it to learn all that material that others will have picked up in a three year Bachelor's degree.

I teach on such a course and we have many "career change" applicants who are well qualified in other fields. It is quite normal.

  • 1
    This is word-for-word identical to the answer you posted here, but the question is very different. I don't think this answer applies to this question in the same way.
    – eykanal
    Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 16:45
  • @eykanal - I typed up this one first and then realised I'd answered the wrong one of the OP's questions! I felt it still applied after re-reading both questions, so left it here as it appeared useful..... Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 17:58

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