July 1, 2016, by Carla

Five Employability Benefits of a Masters Degree

By Chris Jones, Senior Careers Adviser

Could your postgraduate degree be worth £200,000? 

While some jobs require a specific postgraduate qualification, there are many others where this won’t be specified as an application requirement. However there are still a number of reasons why a postgraduate qualification such as a masters degree could be of particular interest to employers.

Research from the Sutton Trust indicates that graduates with a masters qualification could expect to earn up to £5,500 more a year – or £200,000 over a 40 year working life – than a graduate with a bachelors degree.

So why is a masters qualification a great asset and how can you communicate that to employers? Here’s the top five things we think you should focus on:

1. Specialist knowledge and skills

As a postgraduate student, you will be studying your subject to a level of detail and specialism that will help set you apart from undergraduates. You will have a very specific knowledge base, which could be a requirement, or at least an advantage, for jobs that require a level of specialist insight.

“We want to hire masters students because they have a basic level of specialist understanding in the area we’re looking for.  We want to learn from them as much as hire them” A graduate recruiter quoted in Masters with a Purpose, 2014

2. An inquisitive mind

Even a taught masters course will involve a significant element of research through extended projects and dissertations. The ability to find, analyse, interpret and report on data and information is a valuable skill in a wide range of job roles.

3. Taking the initiative

Throughout your course you will generally be expected to work and study with a higher level of independence. You will usually be required to complete a project or dissertation that demonstrates your ability to manage time effectively and complete task independently; attributes that are highly prized by employers.

4. Confidence and maturity

In the words one of the employers interviewed for ‘Masters with a Purpose’,

“I think you can often see that applicants with the MSc are a lot more mature and grounded than those applying for BSc level roles.  They can come over a lot more decisive and clearer when you’re interviewing candidates.” Masters with a Purpose, 2014

5. Evidence of commitment

The fact that you have proactively chosen to study a certain area at postgraduate level is a good indication of your genuine interest and commitment to that area.  This level of commitment and motivation is of real interest to employers who want keen, enthusiastic and dedicated employees.

If you are an undergraduate student thinking about further study, did you know that you can apply for a student loan of up to £10,000 to help you study towards a taught postgraduate course? Here’s how.

Posted in Careers AdviceChoosing Your CareerEarly Career ResearchersPostgraduate Taught Students