Choosing your postgraduate course: Things to consider

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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Choosing your postgraduate course requires some thought. You need a course that fits your areas of interest, life and career goals. Postgraduate courses range from conversion courses, to diplomas, certifications and professional qualifications as well as masters and doctorate degrees.

Why do a postgrad?

The reason to do a postgraduate course varies from person to person. Your reason will help you determine which courses to consider. To help determine your goal, ask yourself what you hope to achieve:

  • Are you looking for a specific career or a career change, a new career opportunity or potential career advancement?
  • Do you want to increase your employment possibilities or earnings potential?
  • Is it the idea of an academic challenges that interests you?
  • Do you want to earn a qualification or certification at a postgraduate level without earning a masters or doctorate?
  • Is there a specific area of study you want to pursue at a masters or doctorate level?

Which course?

Once you know what you want, you need to decide which course will best help you accomplish your goals. You should also consider your future employment opportunities and earnings potential. Ask the following questions:

  • Does this course qualify me to apply for employment in the career of my choice? Do I need to do additional courses to complete the qualification requirements?
  • Will the course provide the skills and knowledge for career opportunities and advancement in my subject area? Do employers recognise this qualification as useful?
  • Will the course provide the opportunity to gain the necessary research skills and experience to progress into a doctorate programme?

Seek advice from other students

Students and former students of the course are a great source of advice. You ask about their experience, the learning environment and value that they received from the course. In addition, students who have completed the course can give you advice about whether the course met their goals for employment opportunities, career advancement and earnings potential.

Investigate the institution

You also need to consider the institutions that offer the course you wish to take. Look at the entry requirements, the institution’s reputation, as well as their graduation and employment placement rates. You should find plenty of information on the institution’s website.

Furthermore, you should evaluate whether a particular college or university is right for your lifestyle and budget. Do you have time you to do the course full time, or does a part time schedule work best for you?

Once you have the answers to all of the above, you’ll be in a great position to make the best possible decision regarding your postgrad studies. Best of luck!




Anne Sexton

MSc Data Science and Analytics: What this Masters Entails
Masters in Art History: Studying our Artistic Heritage and Culture


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