Postgraduate study can be extremely rewarding, offering invaluable opportunities for you to expand your skills and improve your career prospects.
To help ensure you’re in the right course to reach your goals, it’s important you first ask yourself four key questions.
1. What do you want to get out of further study?
Postgraduate study can give you a competitive edge, make you more employable, increase your salary, help you advance your career or change careers completely, and empower you to become a specialist in your field.
Whatever your motivation, knowing your end-game goal will help you assess whether a particular course will get you there. It will also keep you motivated throughout your study.
2. What skills or expertise do you need to reach your goals?
Increasingly, postgrad studies are a prerequisite for career progression. But, before you dive head-first into a two-to-four year course, do your research. Look into your industry and research which skills are in-demand, will give you a competitive edge and have recruiters and future employers fawning over you.
Once you’ve established the skills and expertise you need to reach your career goal, you’ll next need to consider which universities have the best postgrad statistics, ratings and reputation in your chosen field.
3. What’s the track record of past students?
The best way to gain a thorough understanding of whether your chosen course is right for you is to speak with a career advisor. Book a free one-on-one consultation with a postgrad course specialist to discuss your goals and course pre-requisites and outcomes. Advisors and consultants are employed to help you, so take advantage of this service. You can also ask to speak with a course professor or past student.
Ask about the track record of past students and where they are now. You could also join a LinkedIn Alumni Group and reach out to past students that way.
4. Will the course fit in with your lifestyle?
You’ve set out your career goal, found the right course and university – now it’s time to consider the practicalities. How much time can you realistically commit to study? If your lifestyle doesn’t allow for full-time study, you may prefer to study part-time. Some full-time and part-time courses offer you the flexibility of night-time or weekend classes. Another option is studying online.
As well as finessing a study plan, you’ll also need to consider your financial situation – especially if you’re moving from full-time to part-time work to accommodate your study. It’s important to take into account course fees, and make enquiries about possible grants and scholarships.
Thorough research, a defined action plan and goal setting are essential steps for you to take that will help tremendously in ensuring you choose the right postgrad course and make the most of this opportunity.
- Ten ways to accelerate your career at the La Trobe Postgraduate Expo
- 5 reasons why going straight into postgrad pays off
- Unmask your potential: Q&A with Tauria Pitt
Image: Graduation by Violey CC0.1.0