Master’s in Dispute Resolution

So, I had my mid year IPM review today. It went well. I asked for more opportunities, and I’m hoping my boss gives me some more opportunities. So far, I think I have improved a lot since starting a year ago. I’m more confident, and I’m taking charge.

I still want to run and do more things and get promoted now, but my boss wants to take things slow. He doesn’t want to overload me. So, I need to figure out different ways to continue my development.

I got approval to start a new master’s. You may ask, why do I need approval? Well, my company has a tuition reimbursement program as part of the company benefits. My company reimburses $8,000 a year. I used it to complete the last three classes of my MBA. But the master’s program has to be related to my job. So while I would love to do a master’s in spanish literature, at the moment I will have to wait.

Instead, I am looking at a master’s in dispute resolution with a concentration track in advanced international negotiation. Sound fancy, eh?

He approved it. So, now I have to get off my butt and complete the application for the program. It’s not hard, but I just need to do it.

The ideal time would be to start in early 2014, and take 3 classes next year. Each class is $2,500, so 3 classes would take me to the annual limit. Then, the next year, I would take 3 classes, and so on and so on. The master’s is a 42 hour credit program. Taking 3 classes every year means I will finish the program in 4.5 years. So 2018, here I come. Dang…2018??? I’m going to be 28 in 2018. Didn’t really think about it this way. Ouch. I could always figure out a way to finish in 2017.

The campus is 3 minutes away from my company’s head quarter’s. Talk about an easy commute.

What is a master’s in dispute resolution program about?

The program provides in-depth study of conflict theory as well as ample options for further specialization in areas such as organizational conflict, social services conflict, international conflict and  dispute resolution in education. Students learn the arts of negotiation, problem solving, mediation, arbitration, systems design, and many other applications of dispute resolution. The program actively incorporates role-plays from varied aspects of human relationships to engage the student in class participation. These exercises provide students with the skill and training necessary to become adept at the art of conflict resolution.

I’m hoping by the time I finish the program, I will become a master negotiator!!!

I’m also thinking of taking language courses at my community college (2014!). I’m looking at Mandarin Chinese. Classes are really affordable, and I would be doing this for fun, as well. This I would pay for myself.

English: Map of subgroups of the Mandarin dial...

English: Map of subgroups of the Mandarin dialect group, plus the Jin dialect group often considered part of Mandarin, based on Language Atlas of China, by Stephen Adolphe Wurm, Rong Li, Theo Baumann and Mei W. Lee, Longman, 1987, ISBN 978-962-359-085-3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m, also, giving though to eventually going for a PhD, just for fun. I just have to figure out a way to do my PhD, while I work because I won’t quit my job to do my PhD. Ahh how I love to plan for these things. It’s on the dream pipeline. Meanwhile I’ll start working on some other projects I have been meaning to initiate.

Any thoughts? Anybody going back to school?


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  • Be careful you don’t become so overeducated that when / if you leave your company, no one will hire you because they think you’ll cost way more than someone who had a simpler list of degrees.

    • I think the easy way to do this is leave out some education off my resume. Honestly, I’m not going to worry about over education. That should never be a problem. If you want to learn more, then do so. Don’t be afraid you won’t be hireable afterward.

  • Hey take all the time in the world if the company is paying for it! It’s great you’re taking advantage of that perk!

    • Thanks TL! If I don’t take advantage of the perk, it’s like losing money! Sort of… Technically, in 4 years I will have another degree, plus more skills. My company is paying for it, in essence they are paying for me to improve.

  • Just be careful to make sure you count the free tuition on your taxes. My dad got his master’s at SMU paid for by his old job and the IRS came after him years later for not claiming it as income as at least the way his job paid for it it was considered income.

    People get advanced degrees all the time late in life so don’t worry about the age thing. :) I definitely would take advantage of the free tuition so go for it! Also, I didn’t realize you were only 23… so cool that you’re looking at getting a house at your age.

    And I totally second learning Mandarin if you can. Take advantage of the cheap community colleges!

  • I’d love to take dispute resolution – I’ve been looking at a program in Conflict Resolution but it’s a certificate program and an expensive one, at that!

  • Thats a nice perk. It sounds like you have it mostly figured out. Good luck!

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