Reach new heights: 6 signs you are ready for postgraduate study



6 signs you are ready for postgraduate study infographic

1. You need to make your knowledge and experience relevant

You know how to do the job and achieve the results and you have picked up theory along the way, but your qualifications (and CV) don’t quite back-up or show your experience.

This is very common when your degree isn’t connected directly to the career you now have and love. A postgraduate qualification could help you cement what you already know in practice. It would also give you the edge over the competition, as experience and qualifications make for a winning pair and candidates with a postgraduate degree have higher employment rates (88.2%) than those with an undergraduate qualification (86.4%)1.

2. You feel ready  to move up the career ladder

You know the job and you can deliver but, when you go for a higher position, someone with more qualifications always succeeds.

If you have management ambitions, a postgraduate qualification can really make the difference as companies look for people who they perceive to be higher-skilled to lead others less experienced or knowledgeable. According to the Graduate Labour Market Statistics1, candidates with a postgraduate degree are also more likely (78.4%) to be in professional or managerial roles (high-skilled employment) than those with an undergraduate qualification (66%).

Two female students

3. You want to change career

You have reached a point in your professional life where you want a change of direction. Perhaps your priorities have changed and you want to reach the next level, have a job that is more fulfilling or where you feel you can benefit the environment or your community?

Whilst the prospect of changing career might sound daunting, it is now actually very common. In 2019, a survey by Jobrapido2 showed that two thirds of the UK workforce wanted to change their career path. Another American study by Zippia3 concluded that an average person changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime. And in 2021, LinkedIn4 forecasted “The Great Resignation”, when large numbers of employees would rethink their career choices because of a realignment of priorities triggered by a Covid-recovering world.

If you are considering such a move, you are not alone. A postgraduate qualification could assist a move sideways, into a field connected to your current career, or a move to a complete new sector. There are many postgraduate study options, from PgCert or PgDip to PhDs, so why not explore and find the one that suits you.

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4. You want to specialise or gain new knowledge in your field

You have worked in your field for a while and now want to specialise in a particular area, but this requires specialist training or a particular qualification.

For certain professions the next level of qualification is key to reach specialist status. And as postgraduates are considered highly-skilled in the workforce, gaining a Masters or a PhD really can be the difference between being able to do the job or not.

Postgraduate students

5. You want to branch out

You have worked in your field for a while and now want to be at the cutting edge of your industry, not looking at current practices and strategies, but forging the path to the future.

Perhaps you have come across a sector or particular issue in your industry that is new or not well researched, or you feel passionate about conservation or knowledge and you would like to develop solutions or find out more about it?

This is when postgraduate research really comes into its own. As a researcher, you can explore particular topics in detail. And with the right industry connections and network, your research can effect real change in the world or in your industry.

Find out more about postgraduate research

6. You want or need to earn more

As our needs change and the cost of living forever increases, sometimes we just need to earn more. And there is nothing wrong with striving for a better income just because you want a more comfortable life.

Candidates with a postgraduate degree earn up to £7,000 more a year on average than graduates, according to the government’s Graduate Labour Market Statistics1. If you add that to the fact postgraduates are more likely to be in managerial or professionals positions (high-skilled employment) as mentioned previously, you can start to see why a postgraduate qualification can really maximise your earning potential.

Ready to reach new heights in your career?  Join us at one of our Open Days or register for LJMU On Demand to explore your options and discover the right postgraduate route for you.

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1. Gov.uk, Graduate Labour Market Statistics, Reporting Year 2020

2. Jobrapido Research Discovers: nearly two thirds of UK workforce want to change their career path (2019)

3. Zippia, The Average Number of Jobs in a Lifetime [2021]: Statistics

4. LinkedIn, Remote Work and The Great Migration (2021)


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