To masters or not to masters?

Posted by Hannah Walker in

Recent statistics show that postgraduates are receiving job offers much more quickly than undergraduate degree students, with the further likelihood of starting on a higher salary. Figures from the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (Hecsu) show that in 2% of first-degree graduates found work within the first six months of graduating, compared with 86.6% of postgraduates. Charlie Ball, who is deputy director of research at the Hecsu said that, "usually the uplift is about £2k-3k to start with, so first degree graduates might be on around £17k-22k six months after finishing their course, with master's grads on slightly more." However, Ball has warned that there have yet to be studies that demonstrate whether a masters is more beneficial to someone's earning over their entire career.

Experts have also noted that postgraduate studies are financially much more difficult to support, with a lot of the burden placed on the student, which consequently rules out a masters course as an option for many. There are scholarships available and some institutions offer financial aid in order to help students in their study. However, since the increase in tuition fees to £9,000 per annum, students have been deterred from acquiring more debt. Experts are advising students to be well informed of their postgraduate course, making sure they have researched it thoroughly; more importantly, experts are emphasising the need to ensure that it is something students wish to specialize in, rather than pursuing it on the chance that it will secure a job after graduating.

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