Postgraduate qualifications – to study or not to study?

Are you considering postgraduate study? If you are, here are a few things you might want to think about.

Does your chosen career require a postgraduate qualification?

Obviously if you want to be a teacher, doctor, lawyer etc. you’ll need to study further before you qualify for a role. In other industries you may be able to gain an entry level role with an undergraduate degree but need a Master’s for some more senior roles.

If a postgraduate degree isn’t essential, will it put you a cut above the rest?

Largely, the answer to this question is unclear. Many employers are looking for a graduate with relevant work experience; they would employ a candidate with an undergraduate degree and good experience over a candidate with a Master’s and no work experience.

That said, in some sectors, such as the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries, a Master’s degree may well be looked upon favourably. In other industries, if you know how to sell you Master’s to a potential employer, detailing the skills you’ve gained, you may impress a little more in the interview.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a Master’s degree may help your promotional prospects further down the line.

You could consider waiting a couple of years before applying for the course. That way you can test out the industry before you spend your life savings on a postgraduate course. There are a lot of Master’s courses which you could study part-time whilst you’re working. Also, if you’re employed when you decide to take a Master’s, some employers may even offer funding towards the fees.

If you’re dead set on postgraduate study, make sure to research the course you’re taking.

Consider why you’re taking the course, and what skills you expect to gain from it. Find out all you can about potential courses, the staff and the employability statistics for each course in each institution. This will all help you to decide on the best course for you.

You may also find it useful to discuss your options with a Career Consultant

If you’re not sure whether postgraduate study is for you, why not contact Careers and Employability for advice? Pop into on of our drop-in sessions or call us on 01244 513066 to book a full 45 minute appointment with one of our qualified Career Consultants.

For more information about Master’s study, have a look at the Prospects website using the links below:


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