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If you have a postgrad degree, did it help you land employment?

(26 Posts)
elephantcuddles Thu 23-Mar-17 15:53:59

I'm thinking about pursuing a postgraduate degree in either America or the UK. My mum is trying to discourage me and says it won't help either way. I would like to hear from anyone who has personal experience with this or even a friend/partner who has one and what their outcome was. Also, if you could share what their degree is in, it would be helpful. Thanks smile

mouldycheesefan Thu 23-Mar-17 15:56:48

Yes I did MA in HR. Had choice of job at end.

SierraJensen Thu 23-Mar-17 15:56:58

I have a PhD in history. Because I ended up leaving academia, I found it actually hindered my job prospects! However, it very much depends on your field, what kind of postgraduate course you're thinking of and what sector you hope to work in. Difficult to advise without knowing a bit more!

daisychain01 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:15:38

Nowadays a Masters is a differentiator because so many people have a Degree.

Its something to highlight on a CV because it shows you are that next step up in your analytical thinking and writing capability. I really enjoyed my Masters but it was a hard slog. Depending on the role it could make you look overqualified but most of the time recruiters are very impressed

mouldycheesefan Thu 23-Mar-17 16:23:52

I have to say I am only bothered about candidates with masters where it's relevant to the job. I have a masters myself so i know the value of it but if it's not essential,for the role then it's irrelevant. I have recruited literally thousands of people in my career.

alltouchedout Thu 23-Mar-17 16:24:45

Yes, but the MA was also a professional qualification in Social work.

GrumpyOldBag Thu 23-Mar-17 16:30:17

Yes, Masters from a top US university in a very career oriented subject.

As the person hiring me was also American (but working in London) I think it definitely helped as he knew what a great reputation that particular qualification had.

katiej12 Thu 23-Mar-17 17:11:27

Yes, two postgrad qualifications - one directly career related, the other a masters that I had the opportunity to undertake during my grad scheme. Both have helped and been good talking points at interview.

Quietwhenreading Thu 23-Mar-17 17:13:31

DH and I both have post graduate degrees, so do my BIL and SIL.

And yes our post grads helped us all get the job we wanted (in four different industries)

RedSandYellowSand Thu 23-Mar-17 17:16:22

I have a scientific MSc. It got me my first job, as they were really interested in the combination of my BSc and MSc. It got me my 3rd "PhD preferred" job.
I'm now a SAHM, as part time was rejected.

Foureyesarebetterthantwo Thu 23-Mar-17 17:21:36

It really is down to the type of Masters and career you want to pursue. Some Masters are not that career-oriented and just extensions of particular subjects, others are highly tailored and a pre-requisite for progressing. I have a Masters in Social Research Methods with a particular discipline, and it can be used to get into research in policy, government, academia, private sector and so on, if you like doing statistics and focus groups and that type of thing!

EBearhug Fri 24-Mar-17 00:09:20

Yes. It's an MSc in computer science. I work in IT. If I has got an MA in history (my first degree,) I doubt it would have helped in the same way. Though I was working in libraries, and would have had to have worked for a PgDip to progress.

So as others say, it depends on the subject and its relevance.

Also, it's not just another year like an undergrad degree - it was far more intense and hard work.

BikeRunSki Fri 24-Mar-17 00:13:28

MSc - yes
PhD - no

As someone said above, we look for MScs now, as BScs are so common.

KarmaNoMore Fri 24-Mar-17 00:15:40

Agree about being a differentiator. Masters are nowadays what degrees were in the past.

Having said that... it will only help you if you are hoping to work in an area related to your subject. Employers do not pay for what they do not need.

SuperBeagle Fri 24-Mar-17 00:16:39

The people I know with Science degrees who wanted to work in the field at all had to further their education in order to get a job.

The same hasn't held true for other degrees. The only person who went on to do a Master's was a friend who wanted to get a better Speech Path job. The rest of us have done fine with just a Bachelor's.

ceeveebee Fri 24-Mar-17 00:29:10

I have an MBA and don't think I'd have got the roles I have without it, I'm also an accountant and I think it gave me a differentiator.

elephantcuddles Fri 24-Mar-17 00:33:12

I thought about doing Speech Pathology. I think I'm going to pursue Public Health, but I'm still having second thoughts.

sniffle12 Fri 24-Mar-17 00:37:27

I think it has to have some kind of professional relevance, unless you're hoping to go into research or academia. So as others have said, things like HR, social work, teaching, all great.

I did a masters in an academic subject and can't say it helped my job prospects, but then again, nor did it hinder them either - it just left me where I already was after my degree. So if it interests you purely as something enriching to do before you go into working for the next however many years, then why not!

CountryLovingGirl Tue 28-Mar-17 17:15:32

I started my Masters years ago but didn't do the project - decided to go part time after children and felt it wasn't worth doing. Fast forward a few years and I transferred my Postgrad diploma to another uni and I am about to finish my final project (and get the full MSc). I have 2 interviews lined up straight away for senior posts (one at my current employment, NHS and another at my old university). I'm not interested in extra money but want better hours with weekends off!

Well worth doing a postgrad!

Crumbleface Fri 31-Mar-17 12:31:22

I'm really interested in this post.

Have a BSc is Psychology (1st) but feel it has not got me anywhere, although I haven't been able to work on career, as I had DS a year after graduating. I do almost full time hrs over three days, but not in an area I could progress in. I doubt I could squeeze in an MSc, which is a shame, plus I have forgotten so much of what I learnt (graduated 4 years ago).

I know others who have done well after an MSc (most stayed in academia and were also funded by the bank of mum and dad, so no financial issues to contend with). I would say that you need to know where you are going and have a plan to make it worthwhile. Maybe ask people in the industry you want to move in to what is desirable. I think experience and having compatible skills also count for a lot, and volunteering some free time if you have it might work out cheaper in the long run, rather than taking an MSc.

I'm considering moving in to data analysis. Would love to do MRes, but not really an option due to time and financial pressures, although it seems that doing an MRes would not give me the skills needed to move in to this area anyway - I would need to know how to code and work with databases. So, I'm taking some online skills based courses that are much cheaper, and I can do them at my own pace. Hopefully it will work out. Maybe you could see if there is anything similar for you?

loveisenough Fri 31-Mar-17 12:38:43

I had already begun working and my then employer offered me the time off to do a p/t MA in a related field. The course content was divided up and taught directly in regular blocks, plus lots of self-directed study. It was hard work but definitely worth it and I would say it is pretty essential/expected in my work to have that extra qualification now.

Crumbleface Fri 31-Mar-17 18:35:51


I hope you don't mind me asking, but what do you do in the NHS and what was your masters in? I work for NHS too, I am thinking of going to the corporate side of NHS as I'm a bit stuck in the clinical route (would need to retrain to have more responsibility and to get on a higher banding), and for similar reasons to you - I want weekends off and to be at home in the evenings when DC gets home from school.

Mermaidinthesea123 Wed 05-Apr-17 20:51:46

I'm doing a podiatry MSc at 55 but I'm only doing it becasue it is required for my new job.
It is compulsory for this grade and they don't mind me doing it after starting the job.
I wouldn't have bothered unless I was absolutely sure it was required for this post.

redexpat Thu 06-Apr-17 10:00:21

I never even got an interview before I had my MA.

Crisscrosscranky Sun 16-Apr-17 16:57:22

I have a PGDip in HRM- I wouldn't have got my job without it.

I'm now doing an LLM in Employment Law- not expecting it to further my career but it's interesting and gives me a bit more credibility.

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