Choosing A Masters: How to Make Informed Decisions About Your Academic Path
Taking the next step on your academic path can be daunting, with so many different postgraduate courses at a variety of different universities, it’s hard to determine which one is best.
Choosing a masters is no walk in the park, there’s plenty of things to think about when making your decision regarding postgraduate study.
We’ve put together this helpful guide to help you make informed decisions about your academic journey, so carry on reading!
Reasons Why People Study For A Masters
After completing your undergraduate course, studying for a masters degree could be the perfect next step on your academic path.
There are plenty of different reasons why people choose to study for a masters degree, with studies showing that those who obtain one are 20% more likely to be in a high-skilled job.
Below we’ve listed a few of the common reasons why people study for a masters:
- Improve employment prospects.
- Enter a particular profession.
- To study a subject they are passionate about.
- Progress to a higher-level qualification such as PhD.
- Meet the requirements of a current job.
Tips For Choosing A Masters
Do you need help with choosing a masters degree or deciding if pursuing education after your undergraduate studies is suitable for you?
We’ve compiled some helpful tips for you to consider as you contemplate your options. Keep reading to find out more!
1. Know Why You Want To Do It
It’s important to think about whether you’re wanting to undertake a masters degree for the right reasons.
If you’re considering studying for a masters program because you miss student life, it probably isn’t the best reason to go back to university.
Likewise, if you’re unsure what you want to do in life and don’t want to go into the working world just yet, pursuing a masters for this reason alone may not be wise.
On the other hand, if you’re genuinely wanting to further your subject knowledge and boost your career prospects, studying for a masters could be a great decision.
2. Make Sure To Do Your Research
When it comes to how to choose the right masters degree and university for you, it requires a lot of extensive research.
Nowadays there’s so many different options for postgraduate study, with a wide variety of courses offered in the UK, so you need to be sure to pick the best one for you.
There are a lot of things to think about, including what subject you want to study, the length of study as well as where you will study.
You should also research what modules are offered on each course, the opportunities available such as industry links and placements, as well as the graduate prospects.
3. Check Entry Requirements
It’s important to note that every university has its own entry requirements, and these will vary according to the subject, course, and the institution’s specifications.
When choosing your masters course you should always look at the entry requirements set by the university and check your eligibility.
Usually, the grade requirements tend to be a minimum of a Lower Second Class Honours in a relevant degree.
Grades are a crucial aspect of the application process, but so is your personal statement, skills and experience, as well as your future career aspirations.
During the application process, you may also need to include your CV, create a portfolio, complete an admissions test, or create a research proposal.
4. Think About Fees
As a student from the UK, there are plenty of different sources of postgraduate funding available that you may be eligible for.
Whether it’s through loans, studentships, bursaries or grants, or even help from your employer, there’s plenty of ways to get funding help.
To help you find out about the funding you may be entitled to for postgraduate study, you should check the university you want to study at, and the GOV.UK website.
Universities tend to offer alumni discounts for those who choose to study for a masters program at the same institution they studied for their undergraduate, so it’s worth checking this too.
To help you out with rent, bills and living expenses whilst embarking on a postgraduate study programme, you can apply for a Master’s Loan.
5. Try Not To Rush Into Things
Before taking the leap back to the lecture hall, it could be worth taking a break from academia as this can give you a fresher and clearer perspective.
Not to mention, taking a break from education can also help you to gain work experience in a relevant field and save money to help fund your studies.
If the time is just not right for you, you could postpone your postgraduate study and take a gap year or two, or even take several years away from education.
Not rushing into postgraduate study is great for some people, whilst others are successful when moving straight onto a masters from their undergraduate course.
6. Build Your CV & Start Networking
As we said earlier, some universities will expect you to have relevant skills and work experience to study for a masters programme, so building a masters CV is really important.
A good way you can get ahead and remain organised is to update your curriculum vitae with relevant and up-to-date information before beginning the application process.
You should also try to network and update your LinkedIn profile as this is the key to career development and can help boost your graduate outcomes.
There’s no denying that studying for a masters degree can be challenging, and there’s a lot to take into consideration, but postgraduate study can be so rewarding.
Hopefully our guide has provided you with helpful tips for choosing a masters and making important decisions about your future.
Remember, there is no right time for studying for a masters, you’ll know in your heart when the time is right for you, there’s no rush!
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If you enjoyed reading this post, you should take a read of Everything You Need To Know About Student Loan Repayments.