What are postgraduate studies? This is a question that many students ask themselves when they are finishing their undergraduate degrees. For some, the answer is obvious – they want to continue their education and pursue a higher degree. But for others, the decision is not so clear.
There are many reasons to consider postgraduate studies, whether you’re looking to change careers or simply want to further your knowledge in your current field. In this blog post, we’ll explore what postgraduate studies are and how they can benefit your career.
What Are Postgraduate Studies?
Postgraduate studies involve studying for a new qualification or degree after the completion of an undergraduate degree.
Postgraduate degrees are often grouped as part of higher education and it consists of different qualifications which include master’s degrees, medical school, law school, PhDs, and postgraduate certifications and diplomas.
A postgraduate course is usually a one-year course that specializes in a particular subject or field and an undergraduate degree is a criterion for entry.
The content of the postgraduate degree is usually built on the previous knowledge from the undergraduate degree. However, this course content is more practical in nature to help prepare students for skills they’ll need to advance in their workplace.
How Can Postgraduate Studies Benefit Your Career?
Postgraduate studies are a great way to further your education and specialize in a particular area. Choosing to pursue postgraduate studies is a big decision but we are to help you decide if they’re right for you.
Postgraduate studies are taken for different reasons, it could be to broaden your knowledge on a particular subject, to specialize in a career, or to change your career completely. Below is a list of how taking a postgraduate degree can improve your career:
While Postgraduate degrees aren’t important in some careers, they are a must in other careers. Your level of qualification, knowledge, and certifications are in demand by employers and this can be your launch into higher roles or make you into a specialist.
Most people start considering postgraduate degrees when a role is open in their organization and they do not have the required qualifications to get promoted to that role.
For any course you choose to study, you’ll get a range of skills that can improve your output at work. Some employers might find project management, time management, and data analysis skills very useful.
To Become Employable
It’s obvious that including postgraduate studies in your CV can be an excellent facelift for it. It will make your resume stand out in the overly competitive job market. A master’s degree can project you as a dedicated, passionate, and committed individual in your area of specialization.
Studying some courses would give you the opportunity to network with employers and experts in your field thereby building strong and valuable connections within your industry.
To Change Career
You might have been working for a couple of years but you suddenly developed an interest in another field and you wish to know more about that field or become a specialist in the field, taking a postgraduate study can help you widen your knowledge and nudge you towards the right direction in replacing your career.
There are different ways to study for postgraduate, this includes part-time, online learning, and distance learning.
To Become an Expert
An undergraduate degree isn’t enough to make you an expert in your chosen field and that’s where postgraduate studies come in. Postgraduate study affords you the privileges to learn from professors and experts and with time you will become an expert too.
There’s a saying that experts are not born but made. Becoming an expert takes consistency, determination, and studying from dedicated teachers.
For Personal Intellectual Development
You can benefit from postgraduate studies by studying because you want to develop yourself personally. Wanting to know more about a subject to love and building your expertise in that field can be largely valuable.
What Are the Different Types of Postgraduate Degrees?
There are different aspects to postgraduate education. You need to understand what postgraduate education entails before going into it. Choosing the course that would help expand your knowledge could be tasking but we are here to help you streamline your choices by picking the perfect course to improve your expertise in your chosen field.
Masters’ degree: this is an advanced academic qualification at the postgraduate level. The master’s degree is the most common postgraduate course completed immediately after undergraduate degree completion.
The master’s degree comes in different certifications but one thing, they have in common is that the completion of an undergraduate degree is necessary for entry. Some of the master’s degree certificates include:
- Masters of Science (MA)
- Masters of Arts (MSc)
- Master of Engineering (MEng)
- Masters of Philosophy (MPhil)
Most master’s courses need a dissertation or thesis to graduate. In Nigeria, the duration of a master’s degree is a minimum of 2 years which contains 4 semesters, and a maximum of 4 years (8 semesters) for courses like Masters of Architecture (MArch) which are usually longer than other courses. In the UK and US, master’s degrees span over a year while courses like MArch span over two or three years.
These courses do not require students to write a dissertation or thesis to graduate. This type of postgraduate qualification is similar to the master’s degree but it takes a shorter time to complete.
A postgraduate diploma comes in when students take a master’s course but couldn’t complete their thesis or dissertation. A postgraduate diploma is useful for people who do not want to do a full Masters’s degree.
This is the shortest postgraduate qualification. It is similar to a postgraduate diploma but requires a shorter period of time to complete. It is for students who want to acquire specialized knowledge and expertise in their field but don’t want to spend a longer period of time acquiring these skills. It can be completed in less than a year of part-time study. Postgraduate certifications also don’t require completing a thesis or dissertation.
Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
This is the highest postgraduate qualification. A doctor of philosophy is an advanced degree that requires conducting research, writing, and working with an institution. It is awarded for courses across all academic fields.
People who go for PhDs must have completed a Masters’s degree in any of their chosen fields. Most people who study for PhDs do so because they want to go into academic research or teaching. However, Ph.D. is only useful to get more knowledge in an area of specialization and not to change careers.
Funding Your Postgraduate Degree
Funding is an important part of postgraduate studies. If you’re an employee and the course you want to study is related to your job specifications, you might discuss with your employer to fund your course and a repayment plan would be created. Your repayment plan might be for the company to deduct a particular amount from your salary monthly, quarterly, or annually.
There are also numerous postgraduate scholarships available to students from all over the world designed to render financial assistance to students who want to get postgraduate qualifications. These postgraduate scholarships are usually awarded by universities that meet the given criteria necessary for them to get the scholarship. Some of these postgraduate scholarships are fully funded while others are partially funded.
A postgraduate degree is a good way to gain more knowledge and expertise in your chosen career path. The short amount of time postgraduate studies take is also a plus. You’re able to gain more qualifications and learn more academic skills in a short amount of time. Getting a postgraduate degree also improves your career prospects in the future