Live and learn. Part 3. Continuing education or the age of the eternal student

So, you graduated from high school. Yesterday or 15 years ago - it does not matter. You can exhale, work, not sleep in pairs, take off from solving specific problems and narrow down your specialization as much as possible to become an expensive professional. Or vice versa - choose what you like, delve into various fields and technologies, look for yourself in the profession. The study is over, finally and irrevocably. Or not? Or do you want (really needed) to defend a dissertation, go to study in pleasure, learn a new specialty, get crusts for pragmatic career goals? Or maybe one morning you will get up and feel an unknown craving for a pen and notebook, for the consumption of new information in a pleasant company of adult students? Well, the hardest thing - what if you're an eternal student ?!

Today we will talk about whether there is training after high school, how a person and his perception are changing, what motivates and what demotivates us all to study, study and study again.

This is the third part of the cycle "Live and Learn!"

Part 1. School and career guidance
Part 2. University
Part 3. Further education
Part 4. Education inside work
Part 5. Self-education

Share your experience in the comments - maybe, thanks to the efforts of the RUVDS team and Habr’s readers, someone’s education will be a little more informed, correct and fruitful.


Master's program is a logical continuation of higher education (in particular, undergraduate studies). It provides in-depth information on specialized subjects, expands and deepens the professional theoretical base.

A master's degree is chosen in several cases.

The biggest problem of the magistracy is that the same teachers read there as in the specialty and undergraduate studies, and most often this happens according to the same manuals and practices, that is, time is wasted. And if bachelors have an objective need for a “second part of training”, then specialists in the same field should choose a different way of deepening knowledge.

But if you decide to enroll in a magistracy not in your profile, then I will give you some tips for preparation.

If you have decided to study, study honestly and in good faith - after all, you study for yourself in the master's program.

▍ Graduate school

The most classic version of continuing higher education for ambitious children who are ready to make their contribution to science. For admission to graduate school, you must pass three exams: a foreign language, philosophy and history of science, a specialized subject in a specialty. Full-time postgraduate study lasts 3 years, in correspondence - 4 years. In the full-time budget post-graduate course, the post-graduate student receives a scholarship (total for the year 13 = 12 regular + one subsidy “for books”). During the course, the graduate student does several basic things:

At the end of the graduate school (including early or extended under certain circumstances), the graduate student defends (or does not defend) his dissertation and after some time receives the coveted certificate of a candidate of science, and when he reaches the necessary success in teaching and developing teaching aids, he also holds the title of assistant professor .

Really boring? And it even smells a bit old books, library cloth and glue custom envelopes. But everything changes when it comes - the army! From the shelter of those who work, graduate school becomes the subject of fierce competition from guys who do not want to serve. At the same time, they definitely need full-time postgraduate study, and there are treacherously few places in any department. If you add a little doom, corruption, sympathy from the commission, then the chances melt away ...

In fact, there are some tips for entering graduate school for any purpose.

Postgraduate study is about the same as in a university: periodic lectures (should be in-depth, but depends on the experience and conscience of the teacher), discussion of fragments of the dissertation with the supervisor, teaching, etc. Greatly takes time from work and personal life, but in principle tolerant, in comparison with a full-time university - in general, paradise.

We leave out the topic of writing a dissertation — these are three separate posts. One of my favorite articles on a subject is this on Habré .

Defending yourself or not is entirely your choice. Here are the pros and cons.


  1. It is prestigious and says a lot about you as a person: perseverance, the ability to achieve goals, learning ability, analysis and synthesis skills. Employers appreciate this, repeatedly noticed.
  2. This provides benefits if you decide to engage in teaching activities in the future or in the present.
  3. The candidate of sciences is already a part of science, and if necessary, the scientific environment will be happy to accept you.
  4. This greatly enhances self-esteem and self-confidence as a professional.


  1. A dissertation is a long time; you will spend a lot of time on it.
  2. For a scientific degree, a salary bonus is applied only in universities and some state. companies and authorities. As a rule, candidates of science are admired in the commercial environment, but they do not monetize enthusiasm.
  3. Defense is a bureaucracy: you will have to interact with a practical leading organization (this may be your employer), with a scientific leading organization, with magazines, publications, opponents, and so on.
  4. Defending a dissertation is expensive. If you work in a university, you can achieve financial assistance and partially cover expenses, otherwise all expenses will be borne by you: from your trips, printing and postage expenses to tickets and gifts to your opponents. Well, a banquet. In 2010, I got about 250,000 rubles, but in the end, the dissertation was not finished and brought to the defense - the money in the business turned out to be more interesting, and the work was more serious (if that - I repent a little).

In general, the question of whether it is worth defending myself, from the height of experience I will answer this way: “If you have time, money and brains - yes, it’s worth it. Then everything will be lazier and lazier, although with practical experience it will be somewhat simpler. ”

Important: if you are defending precisely because you have something to say in science and there is no goal of rejecting, gaining a foothold in a university or receiving post-graduate scholarship, you can apply for - this form of postgraduate education is cheaper than paid graduate school, is not limited by tight deadlines and does not require entrance examinations.

▍ Second Higher Education

One of my employers said that not having two higher educations in our time is simply indecent. And the truth is, sooner or later it comes to us along with the need for a change in specialty, for career growth, for wages or simply out of boredom.

Let's define the terminology: the second higher education is education, as a result of which a new specialist is formed with certain theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and a diploma of state education is a certificate of it. That is, this is the classic way: from 3 to 6 courses, sessions, exams, state degrees and diploma defense.

Today, a second higher education can be obtained in several ways (depending on the specialty and university).

It is easiest to get a second education in your own university: familiar teachers, easy recounting of subjects, often convenient payment by installment mechanisms, common infrastructure, familiar atmosphere, your own classmates as part of a group (usually there are several such students per stream). But it is precisely the training at your university that turns out to be the most ineffective in terms of the growth of knowledge and skills, because it happens by inertia and more for the sake of "everyone ran, and I ran."

However, the motives are different, and it is worth considering what drives the applicants to the second higher and how the quality of their training is connected with this, how much the expended forces and nerves pay off.

The most dangerous thing in the process of obtaining a second higher education is to allow yourself to study like on the first: to skip, cram on the last night, ignore self-training, etc. Still, this is the formation of a conscious person for quite rational goals. The investment must be effective.

▍ Further education

Unlike the second higher, this is a shorter-term education aimed at increasing competencies or gaining a new specialty within the existing one. When you receive additional education, in most cases you will not come across a general educational blog of disciplines (and you will not pay for them), and information at lectures and seminars is more concentrated. The teachers are different, it’s just as lucky: they can be the same university ones, but they can be real practitioners who know which side to present the theory to make it useful to you.

There are two forms of continuing education.

Refresher courses (trainings, seminars here) - the shortest type of continuing education, from 16 hours. The task of the courses is as simple as possible - to expand knowledge in some narrow issue so that the student can come to the office and put them into practice. For example, CRM training will help a salesperson sell more efficiently, and a prototyping course will help an office analyst or project manager make advanced prototypes for colleagues, rather than draw on the whiteboard.

As a rule, this is a good way to get the maximum information squeezed out of hundreds of books and resources for you, to pump skill, to sort out the existing knowledge on shelves. Only before training, be sure to read the reviews and avoid too hyped and annoying trainers and institutions (we will not call, we think you yourself know these companies).

By the way, continuing education courses are one of the non-standard forms of team building, combining communication, a new environment and benefits. Much better than bowling or drinking together.

Professional retraining - long-term training of 250 hours, during which the specialty is deepened significantly or its vector changes. For example, the Python Long Course is a professional retraining course for a programmer, and the Software Development course is for an engineer.

As a rule, an introductory interview is handed in for a retraining course to identify the level of training and primary skills of a specialist, but it happens that everyone is enrolled (after 2-3 lessons, the extra ones will drop out anyway). The rest of the study is very similar to the senior courses of the university: specialization, exams, control and often final work and its defense. Students of such courses are motivated, ready-made practices, it is interesting to learn and communicate, the atmosphere is democratic, the teacher is available for questions and discussions. If there are problems, they can always be solved with a course practitioner - nevertheless, this is an education for your money, often considerable.

By the way, experience shows that in most universities the most unsuccessful course of professional retraining is English. The fact is that it is conducted by university teachers, they are cool about the matter, and in fact you just do the exercises from the textbook and workbook. In this regard, a well-chosen language school with the practice of live communication is not an example better, but dear FDPO of Russian universities will forgive me.

Further education is a great way to solve problems with missing skills, try something new, try to change jobs, or just believe in yourself. But again, read reviews, choose state universities, and not the various "universities of all Russia and the Universe."

Outside of this article, there were several more types of additional education that are not classified as “classical”: corporate university training, language schools (offline), programming schools (offline), online education — anything. We will definitely return to them in parts 4 and 5, as they are already more associated with work than with the basic higher education of a specialist.

In general, learning is always useful, but I urge you to be selective and clearly understand what kind of motive drives you, is it worth it to spend time and money solely for the sake of extra paper or the realization of internal ambitions.

Tell us in the comments how many higher and additional education you have, do you have a scientific degree, which experience was successful and which is not very?

▍Ancient postscript

And if you have already grown up and you are missing something for development, for example, a good powerful VPS , go to the RUVDS website - we have a lot of interesting things.


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