Studying a relevant postgraduate degree with increase your level of specialist knowledge, in turn boosting your employability and career prospects.

A postgraduate degree encompasses a range of qualifications, including Master’s and a PhD which require an undergraduate degree for entry. Postgraduate study is a popular choice among graduates looking to increase their employability; approximately 600,000 postgraduate students were studying at UK institutions in the year 2018-2019.

Postgraduate study can open doors, enrich your career prospects, and satisfy intellectual curiosity at a depth that couldn’t be reached through an undergraduate degree. There are several reasons why a postgraduate degree, we have listed just a few:

Employment prospects

It has become increasingly difficult to get noticed in the crowded graduate job market. Postgraduate study can increase your employment prospects compared to an undergraduate. While having a postgraduate degree may not necessarily mean a higher salary to begin with, it can increase the level of responsibility you are given and fast track the process to promotion.

Transferable skills

Not only does postgraduate study provide you with a greater understanding of your subject, but it will also equip you with a range of other skills that are highly valuable in the workplace. For some employers, these skills and experiences will help secure your employment over that of an undergraduate.

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Advanced research skills
  • Project development and management
  • Independent working, dedication and determination
  • Intellectual curiosity

Specialist knowledge

The relationships students have with their tutors, and members of the department drastically change at postgraduate level. Instead of being ‘taught’, postgraduates will work alongside faculty. This can give postgraduates a chance to make contacts and network with experts in your field.

Further, postgraduate study opens up the opportunity to establish your own specialism and get known among leading academics in your own right.

A change of direction

Postgraduate study can also offer some people with a change in direction to the route you had taken at undergraduate level. A popular example is the graduate diploma in law, often referred to as a law conversion course, which enables graduates without a law degree a route into the legal sector. To learn more, visit our dedicated page on careers in law.

Essential qualifications

Some careers require a professional qualification. This includes teachers, solicitors or barristers, architects and healthcare professionals. For people interested in a career that requires study beyond undergraduate level, undertaking a postgraduate degree is essential.

The postgraduate premium

In certain sectors, a postgraduate degree can provide what is known as the ‘postgraduate premium’. The earning potential for someone with a postgraduate degree can be significantly higher than those educated to an undergraduate level. There has been research to suggest earning a postgraduate degree could account for an extra £200,000 of earnings during your lifetime.

In a crowded market, with increased competition for jobs and an oversupply of graduates, having a postgraduate degree could give your application the edge you need to succeed, and reach your future potential.