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THE UK: Applying to University

What postgraduate education can do for you

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High international tuition fees and stricter immigration rules make of embarking on a postgraduate course a very difficult decision. It is important that you assess your future prospects and that you are aware of what studying a postgraduate course can and cannot do for your individual needs. Hotcourses wants to help you critically assess a few ideas around postgraduate education.


Will a postgraduate degree get me a job?

It is very likely that having a Master’s or Doctorate degree will enhance your CV and help you to go straight into work. However, you will need to show your future employers what you are made of. These degrees are not sufficient if you cannot show other relevant skills to thrive in the workplace.

A  postgraduate degree not only provide subject knowledge or specific skills for a particular career, but also develop important transferable skills such as critical and analytical skills, computer literacy, time management, drive and project management skills.

Additionally, you will need to show recruiters and employers that you have strong communication skills,  that you can meet targets in a high-pressure work environment and, most of all, that you are willing to learn, as every job and workplace are unique.


Will a postgraduate degree open my horizons?

One of the advantages of postgraduate education is that you are at higher level of maturity and experience compared to your previous undergraduate years. That’s why a postgraduate course can give you a different insight on the world around you.

If you study abroad, you will also be able to meet like-minded people from a myriad of different countries. Your new friends will become your professional contacts all over the world!

Most students join postgraduate programmes with valuable professional or life experiences, which are added to the diversity in the classroom. The recruiting companies also appreciate this factor as you not only learn from your lecturers but from your classmates too.

A strong alumni community, good industry links, efficient career advice and other relevant experience in your specific field depends on the institution you choose to study. Thus, careful research and comparing different options are ‘must’ to make sure you get the most of your investment!


Will a postgraduate course secure me a successful career?

Even though postgraduate degrees are a great asset to your CV and will equip you with invaluable skills, you should not start a course in the vague hope it leads to a career. A postgraduate course alone cannot forge a career, as successful careers are the product of hard work, tenacity and other factors beyond your academic achievements.

Whatever postgraduate path you pick, make sure you are committed to the hard work. Whatever you get from a Master or PhD degree is directly related to how much you work on it. Your success will depend on your autonomous work. You will need to feel certain and passionate about the topic you have chosen as this will encourage you to wake up every day and pursue your objectives.

In any case, keeping up to date with current thinking, skills and techniques is vital for a successful career and postgraduate qualifications are an excellent way of maintaining professional development.


Will it be a return on investment?

Postgraduate study is widely recognised as representing a career investment. Many people support themselves or are supported by their families during their studies. However, do not think you are all alone on this quest.  Industry, research organisations and academia increasingly collaborate on research projects for the mutual benefit of organisations and individuals.

Students working on such projects not only gain valuable experience, but also come into contact with employers looking to recruit or retain high-flying staff.


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Read more about PhD and the world of Academia by following the link.

Check our lists of Masters and PhD courses in the US, the UK, Australia and more study destinations.

Learn about ‘how to write a successful personal statement’

For university applications you will be required to take some English exams such as TOEFL or IELTS and the GRE exam for postgraduate courses in the US. Follow the links to find out more!

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Aspiring journalist and Cambridge University graduate, Londoner 'by adoption'. Tweeting for @hotcourses_Abrd

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