How can a master’s improve your employability? | Top Universities

How can a master’s improve your employability?

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated August 22, 2023 Updated August 22, 2023

If you’re thinking about applying for a master’s degree, you may wonder whether the benefits of the course outweigh the cost of higher education (spoiler, they do!). 

Having a higher level of education does correlate with improved career prospects, whether it is getting a job or negotiating a higher salary (although there are some great graduate careers you can get with any degree). So, let’s dive deeper and see how you can use your master’s degree to build upon your future career! 

Build on your skills

Before jumping into the employability numbers, let’s explore the skills and attributes you’ll develop when studying a master’s. Firstly, you’ll be showing your ambition and dedication to learning, and dedication is a great attribute to have as it demonstrates you’re willing to spend time and effort to achieve your goals. 

Master’s degrees don’t have to be purely a way of working towards your career goals - they can also be a way to explore a field you have a particular interest in. All reasons to complete a master’s are wholly valid, and ultimately, you’ll learn and build on skills while taking on the challenge of completing your master’s - no matter what you study.

One last thing: moving to study your master’s degree abroad also highlights your ability to adapt to new environments. If you have been abroad for study purposes already, then make sure to include this in your master’s application!

Find the career for you

Are you still struggling to work out what job is right for you? Everyone takes different amounts of time to work out what they want to do so don’t worry.

That’s why a master’s degree can help you. In fact, for some jobs a master's degree is mandatory. Maybe you will find a particular passion for the course and a potential career path that you weren’t aware of previously. Our course matching tool can be a useful way of finding lesser-known courses around a topic you're interested in.

Gain networking opportunities

Alongside gaining more knowledge, completing a master’s also improves your professional network. Most unis offer career fairs and talks specifically for master’s students, giving you more time to connect with professionals and secure work after graduation. 

Networking is now a prominent part of securing job opportunities, so ensure you take all the networking chances you get. Remember also to add people on LinkedIn after meeting them, as you never know when you will need contacts.

Become more employable 

Depending on your career sector, a master’s degree may be necessary in order to work in particular roles. This is certainly true if a role is highly specialized or requires niche knowledge which isn’t acquired at undergraduate level.

A master’s degree can also be useful if you’re trying to expand your skill-set or move into a different area of study than your undergraduate degree. This opportunity to diversify your knowledge can open up even more opportunities.

Earn a higher salary

What jobs can you get with a master's degree? While a master’s degree can require significant financial investment, it does open up greater career opportunities which in turn mean you’ll earn more money.

Your potential employer is likely to appreciate the fact you have a postgraduate degree and be more willing to increase your salary or enter salary negotiations.

There will also be some jobs that require a master's degree in order for you to be considered, for example:

  • Specialised engineering roles (e.g. aerospace engineer)
  • Managerial roles within nursing
  • Lawyer
  • Professional historian
  • Some education roles (e.g. lecturer, secondary education teacher)

Possess qualifications that last a lifetime

At the end of the day, a master’s degree will stay with you forever. Whether you apply for a job now or further down the line, your postgraduate degree will be a fantastic addition to your CV and something to talk about in job interviews.  

Ultimately, how much you gain from a master’s degree is down to you. Start your search for a top postgraduate degree by using our course matching tool. Answer a few questions about your academic background and ideal study environment and we'll suggest suitable universities to apply to and guidance on next steps.

Written by Rebecca Hart, an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. If you are starting your job search but not sure where to start, then check out StudentJob. Our application tips will help you create an effective CV, cover letter and help you smash interviews!

This article was originally published in March 2020 . It was last updated in August 2023

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