A higher-level qualification equals a better job, right? It is this belief that might motivate ambitious and academically-minded individuals to take their education beyond degree level while looking forward to the prospect of a highly successful career in the future. But before you invest £10,000 in a master’s, it might be worth questioning whether the addition of ‘MA’, ‘MSc’ or ‘MBA’ to your CV is really going to make an impact on your employment prospects.
Over the last decade, the master’s degree has experienced a significant surge of popularity with a large number of undergraduates staying on to study postgraduate courses. As a result, a master’s degree is becoming a common sight on CVs and doesn’t always have the impact that you might hope. It is increasingly important, therefore, that you consider whether a master’s really is the right option for you.
1. I love my subject and am keen to build a career in that area
If you’ve developed a passion for a subject and further study can help you get ahead in your chosen sector, then a master’s is a great option. Do ensure that the course is either relevant to the sector you want to work in or that it will enrich your skill-set beyond what you’ve already developed in your degree.
2. I know the money I invest in a master’s will be returned with interest when I start my career
A master’s costs a lot, so it’s important to know what you will be getting a return on the investment of your time and money. It’s worth finding out what others who have completed the course have gone on to do.
3. A master’s will help me to make strong industry connections
The right course for your career could open doors to some great industry connections that your chosen university has already built up relationships with. Do your research to find out who’s involved in running the course and what businesses you may get the opportunity to work with.
1. I haven’t found a job yet, may as well go back to uni
2. The big wide world of work is scary, may as well stay at uni
3. I’ve been working for a year and I don’t like it, I’m going back to uni
4. I don’t know what to do with my life, uni?
The main thing to remember is that you should be able to provide evidence of how your master’s has added value and skills to you as a prospective employee. You should be able to reflect on the master’s experience and demonstrate its worth to employers in order to have an edge over other candidates.