EducationHow To Choose a Postgraduate Degree?

How To Choose a Postgraduate Degree?

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Whether you wish to increase your knowledge base, improve your employability, or switch fields, there are a number of good reasons to pursue a postgraduate degree. In fact, about 13 percent of people 25 and older nowadays have a master’s degree or higher, which is the same percentage as those who opted to get a bachelor’s in the 1960s. A postgraduate degree is considered the new bachelor’s, as a simple college education is not enough to land the best paying career in the current job market. It is a practical and smart move to pursue a master’s or higher, but the big question is, what is the right degree for you?

Not as straightforward as you might think

You might think the best route for you is to get a postgraduate education in a field that you’re familiar with. Many people who get a bachelor’s in English choose to do their master’s in the same field. However, this person would benefit far more from a master’s in creative industries, media, or journalism. While it is alright to delve deeper into a field if you wish to join academia, it isn’t advised if you want to improve your employability. In fact, you would be better off seeking out a degree that expands your professional skill-set and gives you a specialized set of knowledge.

For example, if you did your bachelor’s degree was in business, you could get an MBA MHA to combine your business acumen with the medical field. This would put you in the unique position of possessing sought-after qualifications that few others have. One of the main goals of pursuing a postgraduate degree is to better your career prospects. You need to find a way to combine your personal interests with a professional qualification.

How to make the right choice?

It might seem rather obvious right now that picking a degree for your postgraduate studies is no easy task. But there is no need to panic, as this guide will go over the key tips you need to keep in mind while making this important decision.

  1. Know why you want a postgrad degree

Before considering any other factor, you need to be able to explain why you want the degree you seek. Is there some job you’re aiming for that requires a master’s degree or higher? As many fields can require advanced training, you should start by looking at the exact demands of the job you’re aiming for.

For instance, several degrees deal with tech, but there is a significant difference in the career path you’d follow depending on whether you got a master’s in systems engineering or data analysis. If you know which degrees are required for the job positions you seek in the long and short term, you would be able to make the decision more aptly.

  1. What kind of degree can you manage?

When it comes to pursuing any qualification beyond a bachelor’s, you might face an issue regarding time or money or both. Some people need to work for a few years before starting postgrad education. Others might have to balance work and a degree at the same time. This balance becomes even more difficult to obtain if you have a family.

Of course, the rising trend of online degrees does make this easier, but it might come at a trade-off. Online degrees may be more affordable and less time-consuming than a traditional college education, but you may not be able to find the exact program you need. You would need to explore your options and see if you’d be best suited for a full-time, part-time, or online program. So, when choosing an option, be sure you can commit to it without losing interest, even when the coursework and our routine gets challenging.

  1. Attend a university fair

These types of fairs and events might have been quite common during your college days. These fairs allow you to meet representatives of various programs and ask important questions. This is a chance to see what kind of lectures, workshops, and networking opportunities you might get at the new college.

If you’re choosing between the same specialization at three different colleges, their connections with the industry or their ability to set you up with work opportunities could be the deciding factor. Prepare a list of questions that pertain to the aspects you hope to explore at the college. When you meet the representatives at the fair, you will have the chance to find out details about the program, including information on the entry requirements and how you can increase your chances of being accepted.

  1. What other career prospects are there?

You might be trying to get one particular promotion with the help of the master’s or Ph.D. program, but you might also need to learn about the other prospects. After all, you can’t ever know when your circumstances might change, so you should pick a degree that gives you the most options.

Specializing in hospital management, for instance, might make it easier to work in healthcare, but it doesn’t let you explore too many other options. On the other hand, you could explore a lot of different industries if you got a master’s in data analysis. You should not feel rushed to get into a program. Rather, take your time to ensure you know the ins and outs of the program before you apply. This is a time-consuming process, so be sure you’re in a position where you would get a great return on your investment.

The bottom line

You can tell it’s quite important to obtain higher education. Most people hit the ceiling in their careers if they settle after completing a bachelor’s. Obtaining a master’s degree not only improves your chances of obtaining higher-ranked and better-paying jobs, but it also expands the number of jobs you can apply to. It helps you move up the company ladder or outright change to a different field of work.

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