With the way the coronavirus pandemic has steamrolled through all of our grand plans for 2020, it’s high time we rethink what we’re going to do with 2021.
Going back to school for postgraduate studies seems pretty attractive as of late.
Regardless of whether you’re from the class of 2020 or someone looking to pivot out of a stagnant job, a postgraduate degree presents a door to unlocking better prospects for yourself in a highly competitive job market, by allowing students to specialise, retrain and develop new skills in an efficient manner.
Still, the price tag might make you drag your feet, so here are some reasons why you should take that plunge.
But first, what exactly is a postgraduate degree?
A postgraduate degree is an advanced academic degree taken after the completion of a bachelor’s degree. These postgraduate degrees build on the knowledge previously gained, helping students to become experts in their particular field of studies.
The most common postgraduate qualifications are the master’s degree and the PhD.
The main difference between the two is that a master’s gives students a, well, mastery of their subject, while a PhD offers them a chance to expand that knowledge through research projects or dissertations.
Over at the Kaplan School of Postgraduate Studies, students can pick from one of the most comprehensive ranges of programmes around to suit their individual interests.
The programmes span eight disciplines and include master’s and graduate certificates in courses such as professional accounting, psychology, early childhood education, international business law and many more. For the extra ambitious students, double master’s are available too.
The range of programmes was made possible thanks to the school’s partnership with five globally-ranked universities from Australia, Ireland and the UK – Birmingham City University, Monash University, Murdoch University, Northumbria University and University College Dublin (UCD). These schools hold many accreditations and recognitions from esteemed bodies.
And to top it off, both part-time and full-time courses are available, perfect for catering to individual schedules.
Postgraduate degrees pay for themselves
If your dream job requires a postgraduate degree, there’s not much room left for consideration, is there?
But even if yours doesn’t, it’s worth looking at the additional career perks that come along with a higher qualification – higher pay, for one.
According to PayScale, those with a master’s degree reported an average annual income of $69,000, a significant difference from the $47,000 of those with a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, those with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) reported an even higher average of $102,000 a year.
The Financial Times’ Global MBA Ranking 2019 revealed a visible jump in earnings before and after students attained their MBA qualification – an increase of between 104 per cent and 133 per cent.
Locally, it was reported in 2016 that MBA graduates on average saw their incomes at least doubled within three years, allowing them to earn more than $170,000 annually.
Tons of options available
Just as there are many industries in the job market, the Kaplan School of Postgraduate Studies has the courses to match. With over 30 programmes across eight disciplines available, students are free to pick the course they feel is best suited to giving them a leg up in their next career.
Those looking to cultivate their analytical skills will find themselves right at home with UCD’s Master of Science in Finance, while those with an inclination to impart knowledge to others can stretch their wings with educational courses, such as a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education under Monash University.
For those looking to challenge themselves further, Murdoch University offers a double masters in both Business Administration and Information Technology (Data Science).
Even less conventional (but equally interesting) programmes, such as a Master of Law in International Business Law by Birmingham University, under the Law and Criminology discipline, are available to students.
A change in scenery
Postgraduate degrees can act as conversion courses, perfect for those looking to make a mid-career switch but don’t quite have the necessary qualifications, or for those who’ve discovered their true calling after completing their unrelated undergraduate studies.
Ultimately, these degrees give students an edge in the current job market, where employers have been actively tapping into professional conversion programmes in search of mid-career hires.
If you’d like to know more about the Kaplan School of Postgraduate Studies and its programmes, check them out here.
This article is brought to you in partnership with Kaplan in Singapore.