Looking to improve your professional prospects, and push ahead in your career? Perhaps you’re interested in changing direction entirely? Or maybe you’re passionate about your subject, and want to study it in greater detail – developing a higher level of specialism in your field? Whatever your motivation, postgraduate qualifications are highly valued. Respected by employers, a postgraduate degree speaks volumes – it’s proof of knowledge, experience, and strong self-management skills.
Some professional sectors require a postgraduate degree as standard – these include teaching, academia, medicine, and law. Qualifications such as the MBA, for example, have an unrivalled status in the field of business and management.
Postgraduate study builds your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a valuable competitive edge. With that specialist knowledge and expertise, you’ll stand out from the crowd. A postgraduate qualification is a doorway – if you feel you’ve found your place, it can turn a job into a career.
Postgraduate-level study opens up brand new opportunities, by developing your practical skills and experience in a particular field. You’ll take the skills and abilities you’ve developed during your undergraduate study, and invest them in a whole new area.
In postgraduate study, you’ll learn at a new level. Many courses are based around world-class, industry leading research – you’ll learn at the very forefront of your subject, with the chance to progress onto doctoral study.
Perhaps you’re coming to the end of your undergraduate course, and don’t know what to do next – perhaps you’ve had a period of work or travel, and want to return to the unique learning environment and opportunities of higher education. If you love what you’re doing, or once did, postgraduate study will satisfy your intellectual curiosity, in an environment that brings out the best in you.
Postgraduate degrees are challenging, inspiring, and can make a huge difference to your professional life. They’re also a commitment, in terms of time and money – the expectations of independent study and research are considerably higher, and there’s fewer funding opportunities on offer.
It’s important to know what you want from the postgraduate experience, and where you feel it can take you. Explore your options, and consider how it can help you to achieve your career goals. In this section, we’ve included the major benefits of Masters-level study, as well as the things you’ll need to consider.
You’ll be properly supported, but never directed. Studying at undergraduate level, you’ll have comprehensive reading lists – at postgraduate level, you’ll have a library.
Postgraduate qualifications are recognised and highly respected across the world.
Whilst there’s no such thing as the guarantee of a dream job, postgraduate degree holders are much likelier to move directly into professional and / or managerial roles - with the higher wages to go with them.
Many postgraduate courses can be delivered part-time, or through distance-learning – today, you’ll sacrifice less, to learn more. Committing to postgraduate study needn’t mean leaving your job – indeed, ongoing work experience and applied learning is an important component of most courses.
Not only is postgraduate study enjoyable, satisfying, and intellectually stimulating – the skills and experience you’ll develop along the way can be applied in project management, research initiatives, and team building. From networking to organising your own work, you’ll notice a marked difference – postgraduate study sharpens the person, and the professional.
They’re rigorous, fast-paced, and require plenty of self-discipline – they’re not for the faint-hearted, but they’re also incredibly rewarding. Ensure you’ve got the energy, time and motivation to commit to this academic challenge – if you’re tired from your undergraduate study, a period of work or travel may be beneficial, before taking the next step.
Whilst limited bursaries can support your learning, tuition fee loans are generally more limited at postgraduate level. Studying may require a bank loan, or part-time work, so make sure you’ve properly assessed your own financial circumstances.
In some roles, work experience is still valued over postgraduate study. Explore and research the sector’s requirements – will a postgraduate degree give you a genuine competitive advantage?
On entering industry, postgraduate wages are sometimes similar to undergraduate salaries. Statistically, there’s a strong and direct link between postgraduate degrees, opportunities, and earnings – but the perfect job or career isn’t attainable without dedication and perseverance.