The Long, Slow Game

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Maniac Craniac, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And after that, you'll be well-positioned to be admitted to a doctoral program, if you so desire, pretty well anywhere you like. A couple-three years in Provence might do. Weather, wine and interesting linguistics - or some time studying Native dialects in the Amazon Jungle, if you prefer. :)

    And if you don't get swallowed by a giant anaconda, or drummed out of your local petanque league, you'll return in triumph and be "Doctor Maniac, Extreme Moderator" here at DI. "Doctor Maniac" - sounds like an AM DJ! :)
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  2. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I've been around here a bit more recently as I've started up an online graduate certificate in public health at Drexel University. I was on here looking at various options before I made the plunge.

    That sounds like a great program and is cheap to boot! If I were you, I would fill out that application post-haste (if for no other reason that I need to live vicariously through your Linguistics-learning adventures).

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  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I mentioned the University of Birmingham program to my wife and she said "Do it!!!!!!"

    Whether she was encouraging me or expressing exasperation at how many different ideas I've bounced by her, I'm not sure :cool:

    Hey, that's some good stuff!! How's the program so far? Drexel is a great school, and you picked the perfect time to take up a public health program.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I've been able to narrow down my decision to two different programs: MA in Applied Linguistics from University of Birmingham and MS in Human Relations & Business from Amberton University.

    It's a such a hard choice that I may even do both one day.

    Anyway, I made this post because I have a question for those who may be in the know. Given these two choices, which one, if any, would better enhance the prospects of someone interested in freelance grant writing?

    It's far from my only consideration, but it's certainly something I've been wanting to pursue.

    Thanks in advance!

    EDIT: Oh, if it makes a difference- it's possible to complete 2 graduate "specialization" certificates along the way to getting the MS from Amberton. I'd most likely get one in Project Management and the other in Executive Communication Skills.

    EDIT: Oh! To answer a possible tangential question- I won't consider a degree in Grant Writing, Writing or English. My employer will not pay for it, which seals the deal for me. Even so, such degrees wouldn't help me much in any of the other goals I'm interested in pursuing.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Oh, boy. I thought you had it narrowed down to one. Well, stuff happens. Now, I'd say Amberton. The U. Birmingham degree won't help you now or for the foreseeable, in your present employment. The Amberton degree may very well help you at work now and with the grant-writing etc. tangentially by communications courses and/or the cert. in executive communications.

    Applied linguistics - well, that'll help you in your career with applied linguistics - but that isn't happening right now, and I think you said somewhere you figure on being in the job you have a while.

    Amberton 2 - U. Birmingham 0 - for the foreseeable, at least. Amberton first - I think. :) Unless you're prepared to back-burner Amberton - maybe forever and go straight to your first love - Linguistics. That won't help you with grant-writing or do much for you in your present job - but they will help pay for it, right? If you earn the linguistics degree first - what are your work prospects?
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Another complicating factor (or maybe simplifying - depends): Do you really need either degree program to be related to grant-writing? Maybe take whatever degree seems more expedient or attractive - and take non-degree studies as available on grant-writing. Some guys need a degree program to help them get out of bed in the morning. I DON'T think you're one of these people, Maniac. Maybe skip degree studies on this one topic. Hack it another way.
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  7. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    If the first thing I saw on a resume was "MS in Humans Relations & Business"... I think "HR Professional".
    If the first thing I saw on a resume was "MA in Applied Linguistics"... I think "technical writer".
    Of course, "technical writer" does not equal "grant writer" but it seems to be closer to the ball-park than "HR Professional".

    Just my 2 cents USD
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  8. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    The Foundation Center has some great professional development courses in grant writing.

    Edit: I just re-read and noticed you were interested in freelance grant writing. In that case, I don't know that your specific degree matters as much as your ability to put together a portfolio of previous grants you've applied for and been awarded. If your resume says Maniac Craniac, MA or Maniac Craniac, MS (whether that's Linguistics or Human Resources) will probably not matter.

    There are people writing grants throughout the nonprofit world with degrees in business, social work, nursing, psychology, etc., and even many who didn't. I once ran a grant-writing program with a 2-year college diploma that was the US equivalent of an Associates degree. Nobody asked or was concerned with my credentials, but they were interested in my history of results.
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  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If your goal is grant writing, are you sure this shouldn't be on your list?
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  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It's $460 a credit hour x 30 + $16 tech. fee per cr. hr. Books bring it to $15K exclusive of any other fees. Is this a great value? I think grant writing is something a person might need to learn - and use in their main career, or maybe a side-gig with a non-profit. Some fine jobs associated with the need for grant writers - ones in which you can do some good - but beware: the pay often sucks.

    To me - it's an added skill - not best as a career itself. Value a degree in it accordingly. Maybe a non-degree approach is valid here.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Look at the types of jobs listed for this career by the University itself in the degree ad. You'll see what I mean about pay. Some of them don't have much of a demand either. If I really wanted to learn this - I would not likely do so through this program. It's a gamble and the stakes are $15K plus. (And my time - which is I'm not in that league. Show me something cheaper.

    If I needed one, I could get an AACSB MBA for half that. (Georgia Southwestern). And their might - just might - be a good-paying job at the end. My take: if you can write, you can learn to write grant proposals without a degree in it.

    If you can't write - even a degree might not help.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for all of your responses. I'll try to address the suggestions and points that you all have made.

    Human Relations is different from Human Resources, even though it sounds similar.

    Applied Linguistics is a writing intensive field of study, but is not in and of itself a writing degree. Also, Applied Linguistics is something I already "do".

    I can't do the Concordia degree because my current employer will not pay for it. It's not closely related enough to either my job, or any job I might have for them in the future. Language, communication, management and health sciences are the ones I can best justify.

    I'm aware that there are a plethora of different types of degrees that grant writers hold, and that a track record of success is significantly more important than any degree. I have a plan on how to get myself started that I think is a pretty decent one. It includes taking grant writing courses, starting with some free ones, and building my way up to certificates and/or certification and taking jobs for little or no pay until I start hitting impressive numbers.

    Also, grant writing is not my #1 goal at this point, I just really like the idea of it. It's one of a few things I'm trying out, to see what I like and see what sticks. I'm just wondering if one degree lends itself better to the cause than another. Especially someone who's just about to start out and may need an extra umph to be noticed. It's among a large number of considerations I have running through my mind. If it made a difference, it could be a factor that tips the decision in favor of one or the other.
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  13. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Would a certificate or degree in nonprofit management be covered by your employer - or maybe an MBA in Nonprofit Management? There are a few out there.

    If you work in the for-profit world right now and don't have experience in the nonprofit sector (maybe you do), then those nonprofit management courses would improve your grantwriting by helping you understand how to craft a compelling narrative and the challenges that nonprofits experience. Additionally, you might be able to take a grant writing course during the degree which would give you a head start on your professional development.

    Touro offers an MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management for $18K (3 courses out of the 12): No grant-writing courses included though.

    I really enjoy writing grants. I also really enjoy doing program evaluations. I might move into a consulting-type role in the future. I've got a particular specialty in writing Social Return on Investment (SROI) analyses, which helps write better grants when you can demonstrate that for each $1 a funder provides you, you generate $X dollars of value, or save another system (health system, police/EMS, other less efficient charities, etc.) a certain amount of money.
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  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    There are two questions I asked myself today, and they both led me to the same place. First- what degree, of any degree, has the widest amount of applicability to everything I have set myself out to do? Second - what degree, of any degree, would make me feel the most confident if I had to start a new career from scratch?

    The answer: MS in Human Relations & Business from Amberton. It's not the sexy degree. It's not the dream degree. It's not the degree that sets me apart from the pack. It's the degree that trains me in the skills that I need, affords me the broad applicability that I need, and strengthens the backdrop of all of the other abilities and accomplishments that do set me apart from the pack.

    Even as I sit here today, as confident as ever that I have finally made my choice, I'm sure there will be other temptations that come along. However that just may be exactly why this is the program for me. It won't matter how many times I change my mind because, just like my degree in Social Sciences, the MS from Amberton won't pigeonhole me into a single rigid path. If/when I need to start something new, I may be able to get what I need with a graduate certificate and/or professional certification coupled with this degree. It would be greatly to my advantage to have already completed a Masters at that point, as I would be much closer already to whatever further finish lines I have ahead of me. I also appreciate how the Amberton program allows you to finish 1-2 specializations along the way to getting the Masters. They can serve as sign posts, or mid-term goals, much like my AA was toward getting my BA.

    Some possibilities:

    Maniac Craniac

    MS in Human Relations & Business - Amberton University
    Real Estate Broker's License

    MS in Human Relations & Business - Amberton University
    Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing - Northern Arizona University
    Certified Grant Writer

    MS in Human Relations & Business - Amberton University
    Graduate Specialization in Project Management - Amberton University
    Certified Project Management Professional

    MS in Human Relations & Business - Amberton University
    Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion - Liberty University

    Throw in fluency in a handful of languages and some creative storytelling to cohere all of my weird and wild professional and volunteer experiences and I'd be feeling really good about my resume.

    My friends, I think we have a winner! In any case, it's getting down to the wire. If I'm not enrolled in a program soon, then I will have to miss out on an entire semester of reimbursement. One way or another, we are approaching the point of no return. It's GO TIME, baby!!!!

    Thank you all for humoring me so much and for so long. Hopefully, I won't let you down by changing my mind again!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Awesome! I'm sure I'm not alone here in looking forward to regular updates. :)
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  16. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I've moved on to deciding which specialization(s) to pursue with the degree.

    My first several choices for dual specializations didn't match up well with the degree requirements, so I'd have to take extra courses to complete them. Not something I'm interested in, but I suppose I could take another couple of courses after I get the degree to get another certificate.

    The pair that I'm currently most interested in, that do fit within the degree requirements, would be Project Management and Human Resources Management. I am very interested in PM, and have been for a long time. HRM, not so much. However, I like the idea of cracking the door open to multiple fields with the same program, and I can see how HRM skills are essential for PM and vice versa.

    Heck, I've even seen job listings for "Human Resource Project Managers", which makes sense to me because every Human Resource initiative either is, or is composed, of project(s) that need to be managed.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  17. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Let us know what you decide! I don't envy the PMs that I know, because I work in a semi-silo where I do my job and I'm not responsible for corraling the rest of the team. They don't have that luxury, and often have to have the hard conversations with frustrated clients.
  18. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

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  19. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I spoke with a recruiter today. He did an amazing job answering my questions and selling me on Amberton being the right fit.

    I asked him if it would be possible to take courses from other schools during my enrollment with Amberton and have them transfered in to my Amberton degree. He told me that many students do just that, I just have to work with my advisor to see how it fits in with the degree. That's exact what I wanted to hear! The possibility is there to work towards a grad certificate from another school and use most if not all those same credits toward Amberton. What an awesome way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone!

    I won't be able to know I until I actually gain admission and work with an advisor, but I love the idea of getting this degree along with a grad cert in professional writing. So many possibilities come to mind, including one's I've mentioned already.

    I'm getting more and more excited now that I have half a clue what I'm doing
  20. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    This is a good point and a good reason why I like this degree. It fits with a lot of other add-ons. Lots of ways I can specialize later, including all sorts of certifications. Most important is that I get this done!!!
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021

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