winter graduation

December 5, 2014, by Jackie Thompson

Graduating With a Masters – Time for Reflection?

By Jackie Thompson, E-Information Manager

When your time to graduate arrives, it can be understandable if you have a “what now?” moment. Taking some time to reflect on your education can be a really helpful way to help you decide where to go next. 

Moving into employment

Employers are looking for creative and independent people with high-level skills and you fit the bill. By highlighting and demonstrating the competencies you have gained through your postgraduate course, you will be able to prove to a recruiter how you can make a difference to their organisation. On a masters course, you will have developed and honed a range of course-specific skills as well as generic skills that, when presented well, will set you apart from other applicants in the job-hunting process.

Setting yourself apart

When you’re reflecting on the skills you have gained, don’t forget the generic skills that employers are equally keen to have in their workforce*. For example, you will have developed:

  • a high level of understanding of the latest developments in your field
  • the ability to apply your knowledge in original and creative ways
  • the ability to deal with complex issues and solve problems
  • the ability to exercise judgement, take personal responsibility and show initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments
  • experience of delivering demanding work to tight deadlines

Depending on your course, you may also have:

  • the ability to design and undertake short research projects
  • experience of applying academic knowledge to real world problems
  • experience of a range of working environments gained through a placement or project with industry

And, of course, don’t forget all the transferable skills that you have continued to develop from your undergraduate studies such as communication, teamworking, analysis and presentation.

Your next steps – we’re here to help

If you’ve not decided on which career path would suit you or want to know how to get into a particular sector, come and talk to us. You can talk to a careers adviser wherever you are in the world via telephone, Skype or email. If you’re still living locally, you can come and talk to a member of our team face-to-face.

We have great links with the top graduate recruiters and local businesses, and you’ll find hundreds of job opportunities,  with these companies on My Career, our online jobs board. You’ll find many of the vacancies have start dates in January 2017!

When you are starting to apply for job vacancies, we can offer expert advice throughout the recruitment and selection process. For more advice specifically tailored to you as a postgraduate student, join us for a series of Postgraduate Career Workshops in July. 


*Source: Employers’ Briefing: Targeting the postgraduate and researcher market. Vitae, AGCAS and AGR

Posted in Alumni StoriesApplying For JobsChoosing Your Career