Sponsored post by Middlesex University.
A Worthwhile Investment
Having just completed a three-year degree at a cost in excess of £30,000, many students may feel that pursuing study further with a postgraduate course is beyond them. However, the reality is that in an increasingly competitive jobs market that extra investment could soon be repaid in the world of work.
In a Competitive Job Market, an Average Degree isn’t Enough
A recent report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has highlighted just how competitive the market is at the moment. After an in-depth poll of its members, the group found that leading companies receive an average of 73 applications for each graduate vacancy. Naturally, this number varies significantly between the different sectors. For investment banking positions, 142 graduates typically apply, while in the retail sector this number rises to 154. Furthermore, the requirements sought by companies have also been raised. Previously, a 2:1 degree classification was considered the minimum requirement for many graduate roles; now a number of companies are considering those with first-class degrees only.
A Postgraduate Degree will Add a Lot to your CV
For graduates with a solid 2:1, therefore, the market for graduate jobs is shrinking. In such circumstances, pursuing a post-graduate degree at a top institution could be a much more effective way of pushing a career forward than seeking work immediately. Furthermore, this is a good time to be in education; the AGR poll notes that graduate job numbers are down on last year due to the UK’s economic struggles.
Completing a postgraduate degree puts an individual ahead of undergraduates when it comes to finding a job. Holding an MA, MSc or similar demonstrates a degree of expertise and a commitment to a particular field which is highly prized by employers. Most postgraduate courses also involve a level of work experience that is hugely valuable. Universities typically have strong relationships with industry, and work placements are a key part of the learning experience. Once again, having this work experience on a CV helps one candidate stand out from another, as well as providing the student with useful contacts.
Other Postgraduate Alternatives to Consider
Alternatively, for those who are unsure of their future path, a postgraduate degree could unlock a whole new career. Graduates in science and mathematics disciplines can have their postgraduate course paid for by the government by going into teaching. The demand for teachers in these areas means that the Department for Education will pay part or all of the costs of a PGCE. More details on this can be found here.
This post is sponsored by Middlesex University