Thinking about getting a postgraduate degree? Not sure if you should? See how many of these you tick before taking the plunge.
1. You love academia
A postgraduate qualification is the best introduction to a career in academia you could wish for. You get all the resources of the university, the chance to work alongside leading lecturers in your field, and the opportunity to challenge established thinking.
2. You want to make more money
It’s a fact: Postgraduates earn more money over their careers than undergrads. A survey by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in the UK found that postgraduates earned an average of £4,500 more a year than undergraduates.
3. You need a postgraduate course to change career area
Many postgraduate courses can act as a conversion course and allow you to change the direction of your studies. If this is the route you’re going down, you will most likely be interested in a vocational postgrad rather than a research one.
4. You want to study your own topic in more depth
A master’s or PhD is the perfect opportunity to get into more depth about your chosen subject. If your undergraduate course simply left you wanting more, then a postgrad will be for you.
5. You want to further your career
As well as earning more, postgraduates generally make the step up in their careers earlier. A good vocational postgraduate course will give you the skills you’ll need for your chosen job – and some actually include professional qualifications as part of their accreditation.
6. You want to stand out from the undergraduate crowd
Everyone seems to have an undergraduate degree nowadays. With this saturation, employers are looking for something that makes applicants stand out. Just make sure you know why and what you hope to achieve from your postgrad first.
7. You want to do a PhD or gain a professional qualification
A postgraduate degree isn’t just about research. Postgraduate courses are vocational and can be aimed at professionals who already have experience in their sector. Many courses include professional qualifications and accreditation.
8. You love what you study
Despite point seven, there is still a place for postgraduates who simply love their subject. If you really want to study that Classics PhD and you know where you want your career to go, why shouldn’t you do it?
9. The study abroad options are cheaper
If money is tight, it can often pay to look for a postgraduate option abroad. Be adventurous: Why not look at countries like India or China that have a rapidly growing education program? A marketing degree from Mumbai is going to make you stand out more than one from the UK.
10. You’re prepared to be poor in order to do so
There is little postgraduate funding around, so be prepared to put yourself in debt for your studies. Start saving money as soon as you decide to do a postgrad, look through your funding options and begin to budget.