April 8, 2014, by Beth Dawson

Finalist careers clinic 2

By Debra Henson, Careers Adviser, Careers and Employability Service

Your focus is now on your dissertation and final exams, but at the back of your mind you may have questions about what you’re going to do afterwards.

Our finalist careers clinic offers a prescription of regular installments of frequently asked questions and expert advice from our careers advisers, in the lead up to graduation. In this installment, we look at whether a masters degree will increase your job prospects and what local opportunities there are in Nottingham.

Will a masters increase my chances of getting a job?

It all depends on what job you want to do and what extra value the masters degree can offer. There are some professions that require an accredited qualification before you are considered, and masters or sometimes postgraduate diplomas are the pathway to ‘converting’. Examples include psychology courses for non-psychology graduates, librarianship, surveying, social work, teaching and law. Talk to a careers adviser to see if the career you want to pursue requires an accredited qualification.

For entry into other fields, a postgraduate qualification may not be required, but may increase the likelihood of you getting a position in this sector. The right masters degree can improve your chances of getting into your chosen profession by being related to a specific industry, providing placement opportunities or tuition by industry professionals. Journalism, marketingIT, museums and heritage, food production management, HR and science communications are just some of the sectors where this is applicable.

For some, doing a masters is a matter of studying a subject that you love in more depth and this can add value to your career plans if you know how to articulate your experience in the right way. Think about how your dissertation or project will develop your research, analytical, communication and project management skills. To impress employers, relate these skills to the position you’re applying for and draw on experiences to demonstrate your advanced skill set in applications and interviews.

‘I’ve love studying in Nottingham and want to work here, what opportunities are there?’

You’re not alone in looking to stay in Nottingham. Over the last two years more than a third of our alumni have chosen to stay here. Not only is the city undergoing a period of growth, with new developments such as the Creative Quarter and BioCity Nottingham creating opportunities, but you can easily get to Leicester and Derby which opens up many more options for you.

Nottingham is also home to branches of multinational businesses such as Experian, Capital One, Boots and Paul Smith: these larger organisations will be likely to advertise graduate roles throughout the year which will be advertised on their websites.

There are also many smaller and highly successful companies in Nottingham. One in three of our alumni work for a company with fewer than 250 employees and graduates often praise these companies for offering fast-paced career development, roles with diverse responsibilities and the ability to make a visible impact on the business. You can find companies to contact in local newspapers,  the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chambers of Commerce members directory and through our employer database on My Career. Through My Career, you can search for local companies by sector that already have established links with Nottingham and will be interested in taking on our graduates.

More organisations are using social media and with more than 31 million companies holding accounts on LinkedIn, it can be the perfect way to find local businesses. You can use the advanced search function to find companies in Nottingham in industries you want to work in, while viewing the profiles of people currently working for an organisation can give you an idea of what it is like. Additionally, following a business on Twitter is a good idea to keep up to date with their news, articulating this understanding in applications is sure to impress.

We’ll shortly be advertising paid internship opportunities with local companies as part of our Summer Internships Scheme, find out more about the scheme on our website. Also, remember that Unitemps advertise part-time and temporary opportunities with Nottingham-based companies that can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Want more advice about choosing your career or applying for graduate positions? Read our previous finalist careers clinic. For further careers advice, why not book an appointment with a careers adviser through My Career


Posted in Applying For JobsGraduate VacanciesPostgraduate Taught Students