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Further study

A postgraduate degree can provide an edge in the job market and help shape your career.

While many undergraduates move straight into the job market after finishing their degree, undertaking further study can open up new opportunities. Before dismissing a postgraduate qualification altogether (or jumping in head-first) here are a few things to consider.

Is further study for you?

In some cases, further study is needed to fulfill the minimum requirements for entry into a profession. In others, it’s a gateway to a career in research or academia, or the opportunity to change careers entirely. In all cases, it upgrades your skills, knowledge and resume, helping to secure a job you might have otherwise been overlooked for. Whatever your reason, further study isn’t a walk in the park, so get clear on your purpose.

Job market

Investigate how further study might impact your future employability and career options. What opportunities are available to applicants with postgraduate degrees? Could you enter the job market at a more senior level (and with a higher pay packet)? 

Work/life balance

Postgraduate study requires a significant time investment. Consider how this might impact your family or social life. Investigate different modes of study to suit your needs, including part-time or external options.

Employer support

Managing study and work can result in competing priorities. Talk to your employer to find out what opportunities they offer, including flexible hours, leave periods and financial assistance. You may even be able to structure an assignment at university around a project you’re undertaking at work.

Coursework or research?

Postgraduate degrees can be broadly divided into two categories. Coursework programs are structured around the completion of numerous core and elective units, generally delivered through seminars: a sort of lecture-tutorial hybrid. Research programs are designed to allow students to research a particular topic in great detail, usually with a focus on publishing research papers and a final thesis. Which one suits you?

You can find more information on further study at postgradaustralia.com.au.