Why You Should Study a Graduate Degree
Deciding when to study for graduate school is not an easy task. Among the wide variety of offerings available and the limited resources, the question always arises as to whether it is the best opportunity to do so. In this article, we will tell you why you should go for a graduate degree and the best time to do it.
What is a graduate degree?
If you have been reviewing different universities’ academic offerings because you plan to study a graduate degree, you have undoubtedly seen two classifications of higher studies: graduate programs and continuing education programs. Seeing this, several doubts arise, but you should know that these are different studies:
Continuing education does not represent a new educational degree, but it does provide particular knowledge in a specific area. Its duration ranges from a few weeks to months. They are usually divided into courses, workshops, diplomas, among others. In terms of requirements, unlike a master’s or postgraduate degree, they are usually less. What is your most significant benefit? The investment and duration are less, and the knowledge is highly applicable to your current situation.
Graduate programs are more in-depth studies and are classified into specialty, masters, and doctorate. To do them, it is necessary to meet certain requirements: previous education, continuity (you will not be able to do a doctorate without a master’s degree, for example), and your investment is greater and your authority.
Finally, it is important to know that both options are advantageous to keep you updated in your field of interest. What will define which is the best option are your needs in the short and medium-term.
Reasons to study a graduate degree
Now that you know what a postgraduate degree is, it is time to know why it is a good idea to do one:
You will achieve greater specialization in your area
One of the main reasons for studying a graduate degree is that it provides the necessary tools to be considered an expert in the industry that interests you. During your undergraduate studies, you will learn your profession’s general aspects, but it will not necessarily make you stand out from the competition.
As a result of acquiring a postgraduate degree, your profile becomes more attractive to high-level companies as soon as you complete a graduate program. This will allow you to climb in less time to better positions and enter the radar of new and better companies. A postgraduate course brings a greater depth on a certain subject seen previously in the undergraduate course (or not, since it can be carried out by people trained in other areas). The professional learns more, analyzes different issues, and guarantees greater baggage on a certain subject, starting to be seen as a reference.
Your work profile will be more attractive
After knowing the previous point, the question arises of when to study a postgraduate degree. Is it better to wait for several years of work experience? Should you do it immediately after finishing your bachelor’s degree? Although there is no perfect time, it is highly recommended that not too many years pass when you finish your undergraduate studies and master’s degree. Waiting too long can cause a gap in your knowledge of the industry, although doing so as soon as you finish your degree can lead to hasty choices.
It is recommended that you take a couple of years to gain work experience and decide the area that interests you the most. A resume that includes a postgraduate course draws much more attention than another that has only undergraduate training.
Studying a graduate degree gives you the possibility to expand your contact list. Whether you are just looking for new contacts to better position yourself in your industry or you are thinking about your undertaking in the future, this is an excellent place to start. You will be optimizing your time since, while you learn, you interact with people who have interests similar to yours. This is very important when you have complicated schedules.
The so-called networking is one of the main advantages for those who are doing a postgraduate course. This is because, when taking the course, you have contact (even if at a distance) with professionals interested in the same area, be they, students or teachers. Thus, there is an exchange of experiences and knowledge that is very beneficial to the graduate student.
Being able to earn higher wages
This shows how jobs with higher salaries are aimed at those with a greater professional background – and having a graduate degree can help in this mission.
Being able to expand your career
From the moment you take a postgraduate course, it is possible to obtain more information about an area or subject studied. Thus, your career will be expanded so that you have much more knowledge and “think outside the box,” having a much broader view of what is being studied.
If you are looking for a new opportunity in the job market, know that taking a graduate degree can also be a great alternative. This is because recruiters give priority to those who have more professional knowledge, and, as stated before, the course helps a lot in this matter.
Being able to change careers
You don’t need to have a degree in the same area as a graduate school to attend it. That is why it is common for many people to turn to specialization to change their career path. Just don’t forget that some professions require undergraduate training to work in the area.
If you have graduated from undergraduate courses for some time or want to be updated on the main news in an area or subject, making a specialization, masters, or doctorate can also be a great alternative. This is because you will have direct contact with what is being addressed, either in class with the teacher or through research.
Enter the academic area
Many people want to dedicate themselves to the academic field, but they have no idea where to start. The most promising path is to choose a postgraduate course (a category that covers masters and doctorate degrees). It is necessary to be very fond of research, reading, and (very) interested in the academic area.
When is the best time to study for a graduate degree?
Studying a postgraduate program will always be a good decision to acquire more knowledge about a specific area and be updated on topics that will help you stand out in your professional career. So, any time in life is a good time to start graduate school. However, you will get the most out of it when:
- You are looking to occupy a particular position: It would help if you had your profile to be the ideal one for a specific position. Even if you have the necessary knowledge, many companies need you to have a higher degree to enter the selection processes.
- You are looking for a promotion: Either in the company where you currently work or one of greater size and relevance, you are more likely to be considered for higher positions if you show interest in keeping up to date.
- Your job requires more specialization: The more complex and specialized tasks are usually delegated to the most skilled profiles, leading to better salaries and benefits.
- Acquisition of new knowledge: You want to acquire new knowledge to help you carry out that project you have in mind or move your company forward.
Who can attend graduate school?
Those who have completed the first phase of Higher Education, i.e. college, can take a graduate course. Postgraduate courses last, on average, two years and provide better opportunities in the job market, as they qualify professionals who graduated in one area in a specialty.
For example, a professional with a degree in law can take a postgraduate course in criminal law to specialize in this area. It is also possible to expand the area of knowledge for activities that connect in the job market. For example, those who have a degree in Journalism can take a graduate course in Corporate Communication or Marketing to improve their skills to work in companies, not just in newsrooms.
Each graduate course may have specific prerequisites, depending on the institution’s requirements for the course. Some require only graduation in certain courses or professional performance in the area.