Whether you’re looking to deepen your professional knowledge, formalise your existing work experience, or learn something new, postgraduate study is a great way to unlock your potential and take the next step in your career.
What is postgraduate study?
This type of study is usually an option once a student has already successfully completed an undergraduate degree, otherwise known as a bachelor’s degree. However, several academic or professional postgraduate (postgrad) master’s degrees, graduate certificates or graduate diplomas, which represent the different levels of postgraduate education, will allow extensive work experience as the entry requirement for study. So, if you’ve been working within an industry at a certain level, you may well qualify for a postgraduate course of study without an undergraduate degree.
How can postgraduate study help me?
Other than broadening your horizons, equipping you with new skills and deepening your understanding of an industry or role, postgraduate study has immediate benefits for you and your career.
Higher median salary
Completing postgraduate study increases and refreshes your knowledge base. It also shows employers that you’re committed to ongoing learning, open to challenges and dedicated to problem-solving. All of these transferable skills, coupled with the extra knowledge and experience you will have gained as a result of study, signal to employers that you are capable of contributing more. This in turn increases your value as an employee and their willingness to attract and retain you as an asset to the company.
In fact, according to the 2019 QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey, median salaries tend to be over $20,000 higher among those with postgraduate qualifications compared to those with undergraduate qualifications.
Completing postgraduate study sets you apart from other candidates; a postgraduate degree from a top-ranking university could be the deciding factor in competitive hiring situations. From an employer’s point of view, having formal qualifications, as well as work experience, is an indicator of your suitability for the role. For instance, if you haven’t completed an undergraduate degree and instead worked your way up, postgraduate study is a great way to show employers that you have formal qualifications to back up that experience.
If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, trying for a promotion, or looking to diversify your skills for a new industry or employer, postgraduate study is a great stepping stone to help you achieve these things. Students graduate from postgraduate study with specialised skills including advanced critical thinking that top-tier organisations tend to seek for strategic roles. A postgraduate degree can help prove to an employer that you’re ready for the next step, and that you have the skills, experience and knowledge to do so.
Postgraduate study offers you the opportunity to meet like-minded people, learn from key industry professionals, and get exposure to new industries. Often, you meet people you might not have met otherwise. This type of networking is highly effective; the people you’re meeting will likely work in similar industries and roles, so any contacts you make are sure to prove important in the future. Postgraduate study also exposes you to a diverse range of people with varied experiences, which could help you learn and grow as you study.
Most industries are changing at high speed to keep up with the global economy and advancing technology. This can mean that, as people spend longer at the same companies or in similar roles, they can start to feel left behind when it comes to new developments and industry best practice. Postgraduate study offers an opportunity to stay relevant, as it gives you access to new information and up-to-date industry practices. Often accredited by a governing industry body, postgraduate study will help you refresh your knowledge and keep up with ever-changing industry standards.
Validation by association
Choosing a world top 50 university, such as The University of Queensland, helps to align you and your skills with a trusted institution. Knowing you have completed postgraduate study with a prestigious education provider helps to legitimise your skills by association. This could help you stand out when applying for roles with top-tier companies, rather than sitting at the bottom of the resume pile. Plus, completing postgraduate study with a prestigious education provider means your qualification will be recognised by international employers, allowing you to work around the world.
Another great reason to apply for postgraduate study is personal fulfilment. Maybe you’ve been working hard for years and a new area of business interests you. Maybe you’d like to switch it up and learn a new role within your industry. Maybe you’d just like to study for your own enjoyment. Study is stimulating, inspiring, and provides an opportunity for personal development. All of these are valid reasons to study, and will have positive effects for both your work and personal life.
Be the change you want to see
Many postgraduate courses offer you the opportunity to solve big issues, make a difference in the world, and contribute to institutional change. Choosing an area of study that helps you contribute to the greater good can improve job satisfaction, increase self-esteem and genuinely change the lives of whole communities.
Postgraduate study entry requirements
If you’re applying to a top education provider you’ll need to consider the entry requirements. Often this means having completed a bachelor’s degree to a given standard (GPA) in the area of study you’ve chosen, or having at least two years of documented and proven work experience in the same discipline.
However, it’s worth looking into these requirements before you apply. Some providers, such as The University of Queensland, offer pathways to study if you don’t meet these traditional requirements. The University offers program suites that allow you to complete coursework for graduate certificates that will then allow you to progress to higher levels of study, such as a master’s degree. The University also offers English language pathways if you meet the academic entry requirements but still need to meet the English language requirements.
Want to find a postgraduate degree that will help you go further in your career?
The University of Queensland is ranked among the top 50 in the world and has an extensive range of business, finance and economics postgraduate programs that are recognised globally. To explore postgraduate programs and find out how to apply, visit The University of Queensland website.