If you choose to stay on at university following a first degree, it will often mean a substantial financial commitment (up to £6,000 in fees alone). There are good and bad motives for choosing this option. If you just see it as a way to delay entering the world of work, the cost in time and money involved probably won’t be worth it. It is usually those people who have a clear understanding of how it is going to improve their future prospects that gain the most from continuing with postgraduate study. A genuine interest in the topic area will also go a long way when it comes to staying motivated for the duration of your elected course. Here are a few suggestions for how you can make the most out of your time studying for a postgraduate qualification.
Have your postgraduate academic work published
There is a heavy workload involved in completing a postgraduate course, but there are things that you can do to increase the payoff for this effort. One possibility would be to have the fruits of your research published as a book. The ingredients for this manuscript will already be there as a result of your work completing this course, and it can be relatively straightforward to turn this into a product that people will be willing to pay money to own. Even if this book does not make you rich, it will still look impressive on your CV.
Get involved in student organisations
Getting involved in a student organisation can benefit you in a number of ways. If the interests of this group are related to the industry in which you want to work, you may have the opportunity to network with potential employers – it can be a way for you to get on the radar of people who matter. If you are able to take on some responsibility within this organisation, it will allow you to develop your leadership and teamwork skills. Bosses like to see that you have made the most of your time at university, and having membership of a student body on your CV tends to look good.
Get involved with projects to enhance your future prospects
There are many examples of postgraduate students getting involved in projects that they were later able to turn into a business. It is usually much easier to experiment while you are at university because you will have access to the resources of the university – in other words, you can afford to fail. Even if this project does not lead to anything long-lasting, it can still provide you with an invaluable learning experience.
Enrol in extra classes
Attending some extra classes while studying for a postgraduate degree can greatly expand your horizons. You don’t want to take on so much that it interferes with your main studies, but these additional educational opportunities can allow you to develop in new ways. It can be a good idea to choose a class that focuses on an unrelated topic, just because it interests you, but you can also strategically choose something that will benefit you in your future career.
Gain valuable work experience
Many postgraduate courses will involve a module where the focus will be on gaining actual work experience – you may even be given the opportunity to travel abroad to do this. It is recommended that you leverage this experience in the way that it will most benefit your future career. This can be your chance to impress a future employer, and to get your foot in the door of your dream job.
If you make the most of your time while studying for a postgraduate qualification, it will have a positive impact on your future prospects. It will also be something that you will feel proud about achieving.
About the Author: After gaining her degree in London, Charlotte moved to the capital and now writes advice blogs on a variety of subjects.