masters options

February 10, 2015, by Jackie Thompson

Your Masters, What Next?

By Mary Strickson, student blogger

I’m studying for a masters in art history and attended the ‘Your masters, what next?’ workshop to find out about the options after my course and hear from successful graduates. The event did not disappoint and I learned a great deal. 

The event was coordinated by Mark Bradley, Head of Postgraduate Teaching in the Faculty of Arts and we heard from Debra Henson, Senior Careers Adviser as well as successful graduates: Cyrielle, who works for the Nottingham Advantage Award, and Owen, who works in Student Services for Disability Support. It was interesting to hear from different perspectives.

Career and employment options

Debra explained about the variety of career fields that arts students enter, but that career choices were individual and suited to your subject and your personality. Debra listed the skills that masters courses develop which was really useful for enhancing my CV. Research and analytical skills were emphasised which are not on my CV so I’ve got some updating to do! Debra also emphasised the careers support available to us and highlighted key events coming up.

Graduate case studies

After a break for pizza, we heard from two successful graduates about their career paths and tips for utilising a masters degree. They emphasised the importance of part-time work and how they used Unitemps to gain experience after they had graduated. It was reassuring that they hadn’t always known what they wanted to do or that it would lead them to jobs at the University.

Cyrielle advised us that some employers do not know the difference between a bachelors degree and a masters and that it is up to us to make it clear and articulate our skills. I had not thought of this before! Through working on her masters project, Cyrielle had improved her autonomy, set her own deadlines, was a good timekeeper, used her initiative and developed self-reliance. These are skills that I have gained myself but had not recognised before.

Owen explained he had completed a PhD before entering student services administration. I learned about the higher education sector; it is a growing field and there are some interesting career options. Owen explained that his masters helped him pursue his academic interest, provided the skills for work and opened up the world of higher education to  him.

What did I get out of this event?

I learned that when applying for jobs you need to recognise the skills you have gained through further study, and  demonstrate the added value of your masters as well as the skills gained through extracurricular activities. The event confirmed the importance of planning ahead and getting involved in sectors you are interested in.

For more advice specifically tailored to you as a postgraduate student, join us for a series of Postgraduate Career Workshops in July. 

Posted in Postgraduate Taught Students