A common thought among postgraduate students is whether having a master's degree will make them more employable in the long run.
It’s generally agreed that higher educational levels correlate with better career prospects, but compared to a bachelor’s degree, does the financial cost outweigh the value of having an additional qualification? Lizzi Hart of the Graduate Recruitment Bureau shared 5 ways a master’s degree could make you more employable.
Firstly, it’s worth looking at how specialist the master’s course you have chosen to study is. If the course is fairly broad, then it’s less likely that the extra year of study will heavily increase your chances of finding a job (but this isn’t a bad thing). However, if you have chosen a specialist field of study, then you both narrow your options and increase your chances.
For example, an employer looking for a Chemical Engineer will look favourably upon a master’s course of the same remit, yet if you do not ‘use’ this qualification, an employer will want to pry into why you did not follow the associated career path. However, a publishing company might not see a History master’s degree as a deal-breaker, but it’s still a great accomplishment, and reflects well upon your abilities.
A 2018 report revealed that at 76.5%, the proportion of postgraduates employed in high-skilled roles in exceeded that of graduates (65.4%) and nongraduates (22.9%).
The margin between undergradustes and postgraduatesis suggests that having a master’s degree under your belt will not worsen your chances at the very least, and could lead to a better and higher paid first role.
According to the same report, the median graduate salary (£34,000) was £10,000 more than the median nongraduate salary (£24,000). Postgraduates earned an additional £6,000, with a median salary of £40,000.
After studying a master’s degree, you will always have it. It will always be on your CV, and your educational history will reflect upon you well.
Until you have enough of the right work experience, you will always be expected to show-off your educational background for job applications – and yours will always be that slight bit more impressive.
The ability to think laterally, self-motivate, adhere to deadlines and effectively manage your time is a true testament to your studies. You might not even realise how much of a different person you are from your first day of university, but you are; that extra year will only help to improve your skills and grow as a person.
Ambition is often claimed by graduates within job applications, but proof is hard to come by if you’ve not yet entered the working world.
Yet your diligence in completing another year of university, especially after many of your peers have moved away, really demonstrates your thirst for learning and progressing within your field; you are not just studying so you can get a job.
Lizzi Hart is a Linguistics graduate from the University of Sussex and a marketing assistant at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. She has work published through the Independent, the Guardian, Business Insider and the Undercover Recruiter. She also hates cats.
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