Additional Earning Potential With A Postgraduate Degree


Universities have reported that in the academic year of 2016-17 there were 2,316,475 students in higher education courses for postgraduate degrees across the United Kingdom. Unlike the pre-millennium era when choosing a higher education course at university was somewhat of a niche market, we are now at a stage where not only the number of undergraduates is skyrocketing, the quantity of postgraduates has boomed alike (551,580).

This has meant that the number of university graduates entering the UK’s workforce is also increasing significantly year on year. Therefore, graduate roles that many students are applying to follow the completion of their course, either immediately or several years later, are often becoming oversubscribed. With competition for these jobs heating up, many students are instead opting to remain in higher education prior to the completion of their undergraduate degree by signing onto a master’s course.

That said we’ve decided to analyze why students are choosing to stay in academia, and what effect it has on their future prospects.


Knowledge Is Power


Studying at postgraduate level can be of particular importance to students still unsure about their future career path. Take for example a recent graduate of business management. Due to the wide scope which this course covers at the undergraduate level, the number of career routes they could go down is incredibly high. Choose a more concentrated postgraduate course, however, and one can make themselves more suitable to a distinctive role. The likes of Business with Supply Chain Management is one course which offers students an alternative dimension when eventually veering into a future career. Not only that but, further education built upon the pre-established undergraduate blocks allows for development in knowledge. At an A-Level stage in school, despite how you feel in regard to assistance from teachers, the vast majority of your education is heavily supervised and revised at each hurdle. As you progress through your academic studies at university, the crutch that was once there is slowly removed before you reach your final year. Completing a dissertation or research project, you recognize that the help previously provided is no longer there, and the likelihood of success, hinges significantly on the amount of effort that you submit. Re-enrol to the next stage, however, and it will become apparent that you have free roamed, learning what you want to — often in a professional environment.

The benefits of a postgraduate course are two-fold. Move onto a career following the completion of your course and employers will instantly recognize your commitment in terms of your own personal progression. Despite the fact that you won’t be able to walk straight into any job, interviewers will appreciate the dedication you have placed into completing an initial degree and then a supplementary one.

When you do successfully land a role, the skills obtained at the postgraduate level will stand you in good stead in regard to being offered more responsibility than someone without similar experience. Furthermore, career progression will have more chance of being unlocked thanks to your enhanced knowledge.

If you do realize that you haven’t finished with learning, and particularly enjoy the academic lifestyle, a postgraduate degree is undoubtedly the next step in terms of establishing a career within academia, prior to advancing into a Ph.D. style course.


An Investment In Your Future


A report conducted by the Higher Education Academy analyses the advantageous properties of postgraduate degrees, and the statistics speak for themselves. Fifty-eight percent of those studying a master’s degree do so to progress within a current job, 54 percent to improve employment prospects, and 21 percent to enter a certain role. Similarly, 12 percent more postgraduates were in a high skilled job than those in the same position, but, with only an undergraduate degree. Those under 30 who had successfully completed a master’s degree earned approximately £3,500 extra a year, while those in the ‘working age’ bracket, laid claim to an additional £6,000 per annum.


Which Course?


There is no denying that the significant emphasis which has been placed on studying STEM subjects over the past decade has been done with reason. Monster, who specializes in professional development, analyzed the various master’s degrees on offer, and which of these courses pay to relate to the highest earners. The top 10 highest-earning roles which developed from a postgraduate course is closely linked to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; finance, healthcare, and telecommunications all rank highly on Monster’s list. Nurse Anesthesia, as a role, however, is the most highly paid on their list. The Complete University Guide, on the other hand, has postgraduates of Business & Administrative Studies as the highest earners, with an average salary of £46,966.


This Is Your Time. So, Make It Count.


Whether you’ve just completed your undergraduate degree, are in the early stages of your career and want to take the next step, or you’re currently juggling a career and family, this is your time. Use it wisely – develop your knowledge, pursue your interests, build your skills and career, and join a talented, global learning community filled with ambitious, inquisitive people – just like you.

Obviously, there are a host of things to consider before choosing a postgraduate degree, yet, the various points touched upon within this article might be able to help you when you are making the decision.

It will be interesting to see how these trends evolve in the future too. But for those wondering what kind of career they should start building for themselves today, here are some of the most popular choices among young people.

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Anushka Jain
the authorAnushka Jain