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The basics
Study abroad : Applying to University

Is postgraduate study right for you?

When your graduation is fast approaching, you may be considering continuing your studies. We look at the questions you should ask to find out if postgraduate study is right for you.

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Deciding to go to university is a big decision, especially if you are thinking of studying abroad. Students may feel the same way about deciding to continue their studies at a postgraduate level.

 

However, some graduates see continuing their studies as a placeholder for deciding what they want to do going forward. This not only defeats the purpose of postgraduate study but also undermines its importance as well as the benefits it can provide. 

 

On the other hand, many recent graduates avoid continuing their studies as they feel they should enter the world of work as soon as possible, despite what a postgraduate degree could do for their career. So how do you know if postgraduate study is right for you? We look at the questions you should ask yourself before making the decision. 

 

1. Do I want to continue my studies? 

 

It may seem obvious, but many students continue their studies even though it’s not exactly what they want. Perhaps you’re off making career decisions, or you want to stay in the country you’re studying in, there are several reasons why you may apply for a postgraduate course when you don’t necessarily want to do it. 

 

It can be a very confusing time after graduating, and it’s important to know that career choices don’t have to happen right away. There are ways for you to stay in the country you’ve studied in without continuing your education. You shouldn’t, as a graduate, apply for a master’s degree or something similar just because it’s convenient to do so. 

 

Does the thought of continuing your studies bring as much excitement as when you were initially applying for university? Will you look back at that extra year or so afterwards and be glad you did it? Are you looking forward to the more in-depth education in your field or subject that a postgraduate course would provide? 

 

These are thoughts you should process and understand before committing to postgraduate study. 

 

A postgraduate course, like a master’s degree, is a great asset and can upgrade your expertise from an undergraduate degree. However, if you aren’t looking forward to it then it’s unlikely to be worthwhile.  

 

Work placements are a great alternative option for many graduates.  

 

2. What do I want to get from postgraduate studies? 

 

Are you looking at career options that require a higher level of education in a topic, or are you considering furthering your studies even more to something like a PhD

 

 If so, then a postgraduate degree or course is ideal for you. These courses can benefit you in both your career and education, but by considering why you may want to do one, you can get the most out of your experience.  

 

If you want a postgraduate degree for the job opportunities it provides, look at what career you may be interested in and tailor your studies towards that goal. Similarly, see if the course you’re looking at moving onto fits into your overall study goals and adjust if necessary. 

 

Just like an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate qualification has many positive points. However, these are unique to each student. Asking yourself what you want out of this type, of course, can help you decide not only whether you should continue your studies but also help you narrow down what you want to study. 

 

Are you considering studying abroad? Find out more about the post-study landscape for international students

 

3. Is now the right time to continue my studies? 

 

If you’ve just graduated, or are about to, and are thinking about continuing your studies straight away, it’s easy to see why. For many students, university is a continuation of years of structured education.  

 

From when we’re very young, we are put into the education system and always know what’s coming next with a designed path. It’s only natural then to have this same idea regarding postgraduate studies.  

 

Why not just carry on with your education while you’re in it? However, it’s important to keep in mind that you can come back to education at any time and that your journey in higher education doesn’t have to be as straightforward as you think.  

 

Perhaps you take a year or two to go travelling or want to try working in your chosen industry before you commit to getting a postgraduate degree under your belt. The choice is up to you. 

 

Once you’ve found that continuing your studies is right for you, choosing when to do so is the next big decision to make.  

 

Postgraduate study may not be for everyone, but those who do it will gain a level of education few get to experience while also widening their net of careers are available to them.  

 

Find the perfect postgraduate path for you with our course matcher tool

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