After three years of nervous sweats, heated blood and desperate tears, you might be left wondering why anyone would choose to step back in the ring to face the beast of postgraduate study. But if you have a clearly defined ambition and are seeking international opportunity that’s related to your course, applying for a postgraduate programme may not be such a bad idea.
A postgraduate programme could serve as a well-earned passport to your dream career overseas; not only will it hone your course specific knowledge and talent, it will also progress the transferrable skills sought by employers across the globe.
According to Charlie Ball, deputy director of research at the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HESCU), a research charity specialising in graduate employment, “There are a number of sectors where, in order to meet an appropriate professional level, you need a master’s…”
“There are other postgraduate courses where you can specialise in a field of work for example, by doing a master’s in social work, which will boost your employability in that profession.”
A report on the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) reveals that only 2.4 percent of research postgraduate leavers and 2.6 percent of taught postgraduate leavers in 2006/7 were assumed to be unemployed three and a half years after graduation, compared to 3.9 percent of first degree and 4.5 percent of other undergraduate levels.
Ball says: “If you’re studying a technical master’s- for example a pharmaceutical or medical subject area- which has a technical application in the field you’re going into, then it’s likely that the employer will look upon it favourably.
“If you’ve done a more general master’s course that isn’t required by a prospective employer then you need to show what skills you’ve gained- research skills, lateral thinking and so on. You should show that you’re able to study something in-depth and do good critical analysis, a transferrable skill in all walks of employment.”
Postgraduate programmes have also been proven to increase earnings by 15-23 percent, depending on the level of study. It has also been demonstrated that postgraduate study creates a highly skilled workforce which is essential to industry and crucial for attracting business from overseas.
In a progressively globalised world, the international job market becomes saturated and therefore more cutthroat, making it increasingly important for students to find that extra pizazz that sets them apart from competition.
Fen Fu, a former postgraduate student of the ‘Executive Option Master of Business Administration Program’ (EMBA) at Missouri State University, left her family at home in Guangzhou, China, to pursue a graduate degree in the United States. Dr David Meinert, associate dean in Missouri State’s College of Business and director of the EMBA program, describes how the goal of Missouri’s postgraduate programmes is to provide students with a rich learning and cultural experience.
He said: “The EMBA students are really special. It’s a sacrifice to come over here, to leave jobs and families and complete a graduate program- especially in a second language. We make sure the program provides a well-rounded foundation to advance their careers.
“Fen saw the EMBA as a way to differentiate herself in her career. A big part of the degree is learning what it is like to live abroad, especially in the U.S, since many Chinese companies want employees to have a good working knowledge of the English language and the American culture.”
Fen is now back in China, working as a project manager for an interior and landscape design company.
Cases like Fen’s demonstrate that it doesn’t matter where you are from, which country you choose for your study abroad programme, or which country you decide you would like to live and work in upon completion of your studies; attaining a postgraduate degree will undoubtedly boost your international employment prospects.
Many Latin American students seek postgraduate study overseas to grant them international mobility- with the global experience they gain through their studies and the development of specialised skills they can conquer any sector anywhere in the world, or even snatch the top jobs back in their home country.
What with Latin America’s considerable economic growth, it is not surprising that both domestic and foreign students are choosing to utilise their postgraduate experience within Latin American industry.
In 2014, Isobel Finbow had been living in Quinto for almost a year after finding a job as a social media writer. She made the move because she was in search of an adventure, and her travels to Argentina, Colombia and Spain left her eager to experience Ecuador’s culture.
According to research by 1StopShip, student and traveller shipping specialist, Isobel is not alone in her desire to find work abroad; 47 percent of people between the age of 18 and 24 would seriously consider forging their career path overseas. Furthermore, when asked which city they would like to live in, Rio received 10 percent of votes from the same age group, more than double the votes received from over 65s.
Finbow says: “My gorgeous apartment costs a fraction of what you’d pay for the equivalent in London, the people are warm, the landscape is beautiful and the nightlife is fun.”
The affordability of postgraduate work in Latin America is a major pulling factor, and the increasing demand for vocational subjects, such as accounting and nursing, means graduates of these courses are highly sought after. Popular choices such as journalism, advertising and psychology remain highly saturated, but any candidate with postgraduate study or work experience in these areas will seem highly desirable to any potential employer.
Naveen Tuli, global managing director at Laurence Simons, Brazil, says: “In line with global legal recruitment trends, there is a real need for those with compliance experience.
“There are also many opportunities to practice in the areas of corporate, projects and mergers and acquisition as a result of increasing foreign investment in Brazil and infrastructure projects. This differs to the UK which is experiencing a demand for candidates with finance and real estate skills.”
With predictions that South America’s economy will continue to swell, more and more people are bound to consider their prospects within the Latin region. It doesn’t matter whether the region is your home or an adventure overseas, if your ambition and drive is pushing you to succeed, you should invest in postgraduate experience and chase the most successful markets.
Not only is a postgraduate programme the ideal way to improve global employability, it also allows you to stand out from the crowd whilst demonstrating passion and dedication. If you are fuelled by a desire to learn and contribute to your field of expertise, or are desperately in search of your dream job, postgraduate experience will sharpen you up and leave you a cut above the rest.
Read on to find out about the international universities offering the best postgraduate programmes…
GRADUATE COLLEGE, MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY- USA
Located in Springfield, Missouri, USA, Missouri State University was founded in 1905 and has a long history of developing well-educated individuals. The Graduate College at Missouri State University offers over 100 programs which range from Graduate Certificates, Master’s degrees and Doctoral degree programs. Those who choose to study a graduate program at Missouri State University may select from our 52 Masters options, 43 Graduate Certificates, 6 Doctoral qualifications and 3 Specialist Degree programs. Missouri State University’s graduate students obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to immediately start working in their area of expertise after completing their program. Read full profile…
UNIVERSITY OF ST MARK & ST JOHN, PLYMOUTH- UK
The University of St Mark & St John has been ranked as the best University in the UK for social mobility and is rated amongst the Top 10 Universities for overall student satisfaction. The University first opened in 1838 as England’s first teacher training college, and it continues to provide high-quality teacher education, alongside an expanding portfolio of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, many of which are run in partnership with professions and lead to high levels of graduate employment: Education, Social Sciences, Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, and Sociology, to name just a few. Read full profile…
COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE- USA
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is one of the nation’s premier research universities. Its eight colleges offer over 80 areas of study, supported by more than a dozen research centres, labs and facilities which provide hands-on experience for students in a variety of disciplines. UAH is home to nearly 8,000 students from the US and beyond. The low faculty-to-student ratio and small class sizes create the ideal environment for learning, delivering a curriculum to challenge and inspire. As a tier-one research university, UAH offers students the opportunity to take part in high-level research projects, in and out of college.
GRADUATE COLLEGE, BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY- USA
Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is one of the top public universities in the US, with a strong commitment to delivering an educational experience that is designed to prepare students for lifelong career growth, lives of engaged citizenship and leadership in a global society. The University offers a welcoming, safe and diverse community where the creative ideas and achievements of all can benefit others throughout Ohio, the nation and the world. The Bowling Green State University Graduate College prepares graduate students for real-world challenges within a vibrant research-based, interdisciplinary and international graduate environment.
ADAM SMITH BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW- UK
A globally-connected University which was recently shortlisted for the 2014 Times Higher Education ‘University of the Year’ award, the University of Glasgow is dedicated to supporting both academic and personal development. The respected Adam Smith Business School, a key component of the University, allows its students to experience international-standard, research-led tuition in an inspiring and challenging environment. With its extensive selection of degree programmes and supportive careers and personal development services, the School provides a unique platform from which students can easily launch stimulating careers. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the School’s social events which enable them to develop their professional network by interacting with fellow students and members of staff.