Pursuing a postgraduate degree is often the smartest career move you can make. Research proves those completing postgraduate study are more likely to find the ‘right’ job, earn more money and have higher levels of happiness than those with a bachelor degree or no degree.
Here’s a few ways in which sticking with study can boost your career.
If you’ve got your heart set on your ‘dream’ job, chances are you’re not the only one. It’s competitive out there so anything that gives you an edge over the next CV is worth exploring.
The Postgraduate Destinations 2014 report shows that people with postgraduate qualifications are more likely to find full-time work after graduating than those with bachelor degrees. Statistics show 81.9% of people with postgraduate degrees are in full-time employment at the completion of their degree, compared to 68.1% of those with a bachelor degree.
With more people completing tertiary education, a postgraduate qualification is becoming an increasingly powerful way to stand out from the crowd. Bruce Guthrie, Acting Executive Director of Graduate Careers Australia (GCA), told the website Career FAQs: “As the proportion of the workforce with bachelor degree qualifications continues to grow, candidates are increasingly undertaking postgraduate study to add a vocational emphasis to their initial qualifications to establish a competitive edge in the labour market.”
In the same report, based on the annual Australian Graduate Survey of new graduates from tertiary education institutions across Australia, statistics show in 2014 the median salary for all postgraduates was $80,000, compared to $55,000 for bachelor degree graduates. You’ve put in the hours, and employers respect that. So completing a postgraduate degree can be a smart investment in your future.
Not everyone automatically equates hard work with happiness. On average, people with higher educational qualifications are also happier. Further study can be time-intensive though, and though the relationship between education and happiness is not a direct causal link, the World Happiness Report 2012 found that education is “indirectly related to happiness through its effect on income: education increases income and income increases happiness”. So postgraduate study can be extremely rewarding in a number of ways.
By their nature, bachelor degrees are generalised to suit the wide variety of people beginning tertiary education. Apart from your grades, how can you showcase your talents and skill-set better than the average graduate? Postgraduate study is more focused, allowing you to specialise in the areas that most interest you. This can help you augment your existing skills or find a new career that closely aligns with your passions and career goals.
As you continue to study and specialise, the connections you make become even more important. Postgraduate education is a collegiate environment filled with engaged and passionate students just like you. By building a professional network of industry leaders, researchers and peers in your field, you set yourself up for further success in the future.
Not everyone has the patience or application to commit to postgraduate study. And for some, circumstances simply may not permit it. Like most things in life, it takes time, resources and effort. Think of it as an exercise in delayed gratification. All indications are, it will be worth the wait.