Posted on: 1st Jun 2023
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Is a Postgraduate Degree Worth the Investment?

Introduction: 

The thought of pursuing a postgraduate degree is scary. The word count of a dissertation alone is enough to cause heart palpitations, not to mention the hefty tuition fees that can send you running in the opposite direction. However, before you hastily rule out the idea, it’s important to recognise that stagnation can be even more terrifying.

This article will assist in your decision-making process by answering a few essential questions: does a postgraduate degree align with your ultimate purpose, is it a realistic option for you at this time, and what’s a viable alternative? Before we delve into the prospects and challenges of pursuing a postgraduate degree, here’s an overview of what you’re signing up for.

A full-time postgraduate degree is typically divided into terms with modules consisting of 60, 120 or 180 credits. Depending on the field of study as well as the programme — certificate, diploma or masters — your days will be made up of lectures, seminars, practical assignments, and independent study and research, while your knowledge will be put to the test in the form of essays, practical assignments, thesis or dissertations. The subject matter of any postgraduate degree is exceptionally deep and complex, demanding rigorous focus and dedication. In the apt words of a first-year grad student interviewed by the University of Florida, Grad school is a lot; a lot of late-night study sessions, a lot of frustration, and a lot of large iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts.” Now that you have a clear picture of what grad life is like, let’s fast-forward to the exciting part: your prospects after graduation.


The Delayed Gratifications Of A Graduate

Earn Up To Your Highest Potential

Based on a 2020 report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), postgraduates earn on average 18% more than first degree holders, just six months after graduation. More and more companies look for postgraduate students to hire, especially for higher management positions. For example, graduates of business psychology masters programmes are able to negotiate for a higher salary by leaning on their experience, newfound knowledge, and a good recommendation from a prestigious school network.

Return To A Better Job Market

Fresh graduates and professionals alike are choosing to ride out the economic storm by enrolling in a postgraduate programme. In 2022, The Guardian reported thatuniversities in the UK saw a substantial 20% increase in postgraduate applications. In light of today’s volatile job market, and the devaluation of certain job roles, this is undeniably a sound strategy. If all goes well and the economy stabilises, you’ll be fielding multiple high-paying offers. And in a future economic crisis, your shining degree will be your biggest fail safe.

There’s No Limit To What You Can Achieve

In fields such as healthcare, a postgraduate degree is a natural stepping stone to progression and a prerequisite for professional practice. Once you acquire a wealth of skills, knowledge, experience, and a solid foundation that can withstand any external circumstances, you can potentially start your own practice or pioneer an innovative product or service within your field. The possibilities are endless.

A Path To Permanent Residency

If your long-term plan is to settle down in an advanced country like Australia and Canada, with the eventual goal to naturalise, pursuing a postgraduate degree in the respective country can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a residence permit. These governments prioritise professionals who can contribute to the country’s economic growth. If this is a goal, we recommend speaking with an immigration lawyer for guidance on which areas of study can maximise your chances of acquiring permanent residency. 

Key Constraints And Considerations

Do The Numbers Add Up?

One of the major challenges in pursuing a postgraduate degree is the overbearing expense. The average tuition fees at a reputable university is $5060,000. Compound this with the mounting expense of books and cost of living, you’re looking at a minimum of a $100,000 investment. Working professionals will also be forgoing a whole year’s salary, adding to their financial constraints and considerations.

If you aren’t in a financial position to go full-time and have personal responsibilities, a part-time degree is an excellent option. Although it takes longer and you’ll be sacrificing a lot of personal time, it will ultimately be worth it.

Are You Doing It For The Right Reasons?

What do you hope to achieve by pursuing a postgraduate degree? If you’re unclear and are going back and forth on the idea, step back to analyse your true desires. As mentioned earlier, a postgraduate degree is a major financial commitment that comes with its own day-to-day challenges. You need to wake up motivated to achieve your goals and that comes from understanding your ultimate purpose.

The Journey To The Top

If your motivation is career advancement, reach out to professionals in positions you aspire to be in. Share your plans with them and learn about their career trajectories. Their first-hand experience can provide invaluable insights, guiding you on your journey to the top.

Additionally, it is crucial to understand the impact of emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), on your industry. Despite AI being in its early stages, it’s already disrupting a number of industries, from healthcare and finance to retail and e-commerce. The job itself may be relevant, however, the value and requirements of the position may change significantly.

Conclusion: 

A postgraduate degree is an excellent investment if you are unequivocally clear about where you’re headed; whether it’s earning up to your highest potential, gaining a competitive advantage in the job market, acquiring permanent residency, or gaining the knowledge and confidence to forge your own path. If you’re unsure of your next move and just want to move forward, we recommend taking on a course that isn’t as financially and personally demanding.

Furthermore, while a postgraduate degree is an outstanding achievement, it won’t necessarily lead you to fulfilling your ultimate purpose. On a final note, industries are evolving every day, so an agile approach to your career is important. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “The future belongs to those who (strategically) plan for it.”

Author Bio:

Laura Tan

I am an academic writer since 2003 and associated with Singapore Assignment Help. I have expertise in making dissertation proposal. Till now i helped more than 2000 Singaporean and Malaysian Students in completing their masters dissertations thesis and other academic papers.