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Pros And Cons Of Postgraduate Study

By   /  March 10, 2021  /  Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of Postgraduate Study

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Graduating from university could feel like standing at a crossroads under a huge sign that says, “What now?”  For most people, it means entering the workforce and starting to build a career. There are others, however, who choose to stay in the classroom and further their education. Pursuing postgraduate studies is a serious commitment, and it’s definitely not for everyone. It can be a rewarding route toward professional and personal advancement, but it also has its own drawbacks.

What Is Postgraduate Study?

Postgraduate study generally means higher education. Once you’ve completed your undergraduate studies, you can take a postgraduate course to specialize in a specific discipline within your chosen field. The two most common types of postgraduate degrees are master’s degree and doctorate. You can earn these degrees through coursework, research, or both.

Planning your future and contemplating what step to take next can be really daunting. To help you decide whether postgraduate study is the right path for you, below is a breakdown of important factors, benefits, and risks that come with it. 

To start off, here are the advantages that could be waiting for you:

Puts You On A Job Search Fast Lane

The job market is an incredibly fierce and competitive place. These days, even having a bachelor’s degree doesn’t guarantee you a job. So, having ‘MA’, ‘MS’, or ‘PhD’ next to your name can surely give you some leverage. 

You can benefit from this even if you’re still in the process of completing your studies. There are companies, such as Hire Scholars, that give opportunities to students and graduates based on their talents and qualifications, rather than their respective schools and connections. It’s not just about getting any job, but about getting the right job for your knowledge and skillset.

Qualifies You For High-Paying Jobs

Many people think that people with postgraduate degrees earn more money than average employees. To some extent, that’s true. However, it doesn’t mean that your title will coax companies into paying you more than the next person who works the same job. Such false notion spells inequality in the workforce. What it truly means is that your postgraduate degree can give you access to higher positions that offer higher wages.

Helps In Professional Networking

Being a postgraduate student means being surrounded by relevant professionals in your chosen field. From your professors to the people you’ll work closely with during research, most of them will surely figure in your future professional environment. Adapting to the harsh corporate setting is no easy feat, so it pays to build relationships and contacts early on.

Paves The Way For A Career Shift

Perhaps, you ‘re forced to take an undergraduate course that wasn’t aligned with your true passion. There’s no shame in it because it happens to a lot of people. If you’d like to forge a career in a field outside of what you studied in college, going down the postgraduate route is for you. 

Unlike Law and Medicine, most of postgraduate programs don’t require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject. That means you can easily switch lanes to your preferred discipline as long as you have a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. 

This can also be beneficial if you feel dissatisfied with the direction that your career is going. You can use higher education as a key to venture into a new industry, revamp your career, or simply move into a new environment.

The points above illustrate how pursuing postgraduate studies can shape your life for the better. If you play your cards right, you can reap all of its benefits—and much more. On the other hand, if you jump into the fray unprepared, it can backfire significantly. 

Here are some disadvantages you should keep an eye out for:

Can Break Your Bank

It goes without saying that extending your stay at the university will cost a fortune. While there are scholarship funds that can cover your tuition, most of them don’t include other living expenses. You’ll have to shell out for your food, transportation, utility, and rent.

Of course, there’s always the option to work part-time as a way to self-support. However, not everyone can accommodate such a commitment while juggling the demands of postgraduate study. Unless you have a steady flow of income or a solid financial support system, getting a postgraduate degree can lead to huge financial losses.

Makes You Prone To Burnout

Higher education means more complex subjects, increased workload, and greater pressure to produce quality results. All of these can take a toll on your physical, mental, and even emotional wellness. Undergraduate life comes with its own challenges, but there’s also enough room for occasional complacence. With postgraduate life, you can no longer get away with skipping class or handing in half-baked papers. 

Disrupts Your Life Balance

When you work toward a postgraduate degree, it will be the central point of your life for at least two years. Postgraduate life is way shorter than undergraduate life, so it’s crucial to make every year count. Whether you like it or not, everything else will fade into the background. There will be very little time left for self-care, family, and other hobbies or interests. Having a healthy social life is out of the table, too.

You’ll Feel Getting Left Behind

If you’re a fresh graduate, there could be some kind of strain in knowing that most of your peers have already moved forward to the next chapter of their lives. While they’re thriving at their corporate jobs, launching startups, or travelling the world, you’re working long nights for your coursework. 

Such negative feelings could get worse if you’ve been forced to put your other dreams and goals on hold to prioritize your studies. It’s human nature, and, sometimes, it can blind you from the fact that you’re simply running on a different track and timeline from the rest.

Should You Go To Grad School?

Postgraduate study can either be your best decision or your worst regret. In order to make a the right decision, you must first assess your career goals, current life situation, overall well-being, and your willingness to take on a potentially life-defining journey.

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