How Can Postgraduate Degrees Enhance Career Prospects?
“I completed my MRes Humanities (Drama) in August 2020. Since then I have worked with a fellow graduate on the same course as a Graduate Mentor and we have had powerful and inspiring conversations with postgraduate students. This piece aims to capture 3 reasons why postgraduate degrees can develop your career prospects using what I learnt from my own postgraduate degree and what I have gathered from others doing their own courses.
“Develop your knowledge.
The first way a postgraduate degree enhances your career plan is by developing your knowledge of subjects and how your work applies to the world you live in. By embarking on this level of study you are becoming more than a student, you are becoming a researcher. You are a researcher who is making an indentation on the mould of your chosen subject area or areas. This is crucial for when you go into any work setting as this frame of mind can be used because you can always believe that your work will make a difference to academia, to society and to people’s livelihoods.
“Increase your skill set.
A second benefit of studying postgraduate courses is that they increase personal and interpersonal skills. Independence is a key skill you can enhance because you will spend time developing your assignments and most likely a final dissertation piece. In doing this you are becoming a project manager of your work, shaping and refining it until you reach your deadline (something postgraduate degrees teach you is that you will always want to enhance your work even after the deadline!) Another key skill that will boost careers prospects is your adaptability and collaboration. Even though postgraduate degrees can be independent you will still be working with others and be part of a postgraduate cohort. This will be crucial if challenges personally, or blocks in writing come up. In helping others with their work, it will have a monumental impact on your own work. A key thing I learnt is how to communicate my work to people who had no idea what I was doing. In turn this developed my communication and understanding of my own work, which has proven crucial in my role in Outreach at Newman.
“Enhance your current job or open up new jobs.
The last impact a postgraduate degree can have on career prospects is that it may benefit work you are already doing or may be essential to work you hope to do. It is key to know if your career goals require a postgraduate degree. The best tip I could give is to always work backwards from where you want to be and see what steps you need to take to get to that point. However, I have found and seen that a postgraduate degree may end up being a diversion on your path that actually opens up new avenues you had not considered. Reach out to your employers, your lecturers and people around you to see if a postgraduate degree could benefit you.