Home > Careers > In an ever more competitive job market is Postgraduate Study the answer to finding career success?

In an ever more competitive job market is Postgraduate Study the answer to finding career success?

 Postgraduate Magazine

Postgraduate study can provide Graduates with a number of opportunities -to broaden skills, develop specific knowledge and achieve professional qualifications. It can also provide the possibility of changing paths and potentially improve your employability.

All of this sounds great but Post Graduate Study is not for everyone and there are some important questions you should consider before deciding on whether it’s the best route for you.

The key question you should ask yourself is why do you want to take a postgraduate course?

For some careers paths it is a mandatory requirement in order to achieve professional status, take law for example, the legal practice course is a necessary step towards qualifying as a solicitor. But in other disciplines your reasons may be very different.

Ask yourself do you really enjoy your subject? Hopefully yes, this is really important in considering whether you want to dedicate more of your time and money towards it. Remember though to think about your long term goals and consider carefully the implications of your choice. A postgraduate qualification is not the key to a fantastic job, it can improve your prospects but if a job requires a 2:1 undergraduate degree, having a 2:2 and a Masters still does not fill the initial requirement.  However it is worth noting that when looking at postgraduate destinations only 4.2% of masters graduates were unemployed 6 months of graduating.  Also relatively few Masters graduates go into work that is not considered Graduate level.

Perhaps you are still unsure what your goals are and see postgraduate study as giving you more time to decide. Really though undertaking study at this level should be part of your goal and if you do end up taking a course for this reason it is important that you actively think about your future throughout your programme of study and don’t just continue to put off making any decisions.

The questions haven’t quite stopped yet! Having decided that yes you do want to take a postgraduate course you also need to decide when and where to take it and also how you will cope with finances.

So when is the best time to begin a Post Graduate Course? Again this is a personal decision and there are a variety of options.

For some it may be best to continue straight on from Undergraduate Study. The benefit of this route is that you are able to bring with you fresh and relevant knowledge. However it may make the financial side more difficult and for some courses this isn’t an option. For instance many Vocational courses expect at least a year’s work experience before taking on study at this level.

You may choose to take a year or more out. This is a good route if you know you cannot afford to study right away or you just want some time away from academics. Remember though if you do take time out to keep an eye on application deadlines as you want to make sure you keep your options open.

Helen Stoy

Careers Professional

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