I keep seeing advertisements for Norwich University’s on-line Master of Arts in Military History in all of the Civil War publications. Norwich is very much like VMI or the Citadel–it has a long and glorious history of training citizen-soldiers for the United States Army.
I am keenly aware that I do not have any academic background in history. I have not had a formal history class since the tenth grade, meaning that I am entirely self-taught. As I said, I am keenly aware of my lack of academic training in my chosen field of pursuit, and I often feel inadequate about it. I think it’s because I don’t much care for being described as an amateur historian.
I had a good long look at Norwich’s program tonight, as I’ve been curious about it. All but the last week of the program is done on line, though distance learning technology (which has really come a LONG way). The degree track is 36 credits, to be completed over 18-24 months, with a capstone project to be done at Norwich’s Vermont campus. I wasn’t particularly impressd with the course selections. They’re pretty much all survery courses with no opportunity to really hone in on a particular area of study or pursuit, and that surprised me. There are a lot of theoretical courses that simply don’t hold much interest for me.
It thus becomes a two-fold question: is it worth the investment of (a) time and (b) money? I already have three degrees. I don’t talk about it much, but I already do have a master’s degree, in international affairs, with a concentration in international security studies. I actually did a four-year dual degree program with law school. I therefore don’t feel a compelling need to get another degree just for the sake of getting another degree. It therefore has to be worth my while for me to really consider it. There’s also the fact that come June, it will be 20 years since I got my two advanced degrees, and it would really take a major adjustment to get me back into the swing of being a student again all these many years later.
I took a good look at the curriculum, the expense, and the time investment required and ultimately came to the conclusion that it’s just not worth pursuing for me. I have so little free time as it is that I can’t get too fired up about investing 15-20 hours per week of time that I really don’t have into a degree that ultimately has little utility for me and which won’t really do much to make money for me. In addition, the nature of my job is such that really busy times come in waves and are often impossible to predict. As set forth above, the curriculum really didn’t much excite me, and I can’t really justify the financial investment.
I have, therefore, come to the conclusion that this is not for me. It may very well be worth it for some, but for me, it’s just not. I am glad, though, that I indulged my curiosity and took the time to check it out. At least now I know what’s involved and have satisfied myself it’s not for me. And there is value in that.Scridb filter