10 reasons to study a postgrad degree

11 Sep 2020 | 4 mins

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Whether you’re close to finishing your first degree or already working out in your field, postgrad study can take your career prospects to new heights.

Undertaking a higher-level qualification is ideal if you want to specialise and advance in your field, qualify for a certain profession or seek a career change.

Use this time to acquire specialist skills and training or gain that specific accreditation to launch a more rewarding career path. Whatever your goals, postgrad study could be your ticket to success.

Find out our 10 reasons to study a postgrad degree.

1. Develop your skill set

If you want to dive deeper into your chosen area, a postgrad degree is almost a must. Bachelor’s degrees are excellent at introducing you to independent learning, exploring your field/s of interest and completing assessments; whereas a postgrad degree will see you take the skills, knowledge and experience you learn in a bachelor’s degree and enhance them further.

According to the Australian Qualifications Framework, bachelor’s degrees (level 7) provide graduates with ‘broad and coherent knowledge and skills for professional work and/or further learning’. Level 8 qualifications (honours, graduate certificates and graduate diplomas) add the term ‘advanced’. Furthermore, a master’s degree (level 9) offers you specialised, expert skills and knowledge.

2. Network with the best

Studying a postgrad degree allows you to make valuable connections that will stand you in good stead for your future career. Expand your circle and open up opportunities by meeting with leaders in your field, joining student clubs and associations, and attending key events and networking functions. You’ll be able to connect with like-minded peers, as well as professionals and researchers who are already working where you want to be. These could prove powerful when it’s time to enter your chosen industry.

3. It’s more affordable than ever

With an expanded range of courses offered with Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) at UWA, the cost to you has significantly reduced. CSPs are subsidised by the Australian Government and offer savings between 61% and 83% on course fees compared to 2019 fees.

We added more than 40 degrees to our existing list of CSP postgraduate degrees, including Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Science Communication, Urban Design, Exercise Science, IT, Clinical Psychology, Education, Public Health, Strategic Communication and more.

Courses include graduate certificates, graduate diplomas and master’s degrees, like the Graduate Diploma in International Law, with a new average annual fee of only $5,577 (as opposed to the previous cost of $23,400 equalling a saving of 76%). View our newest CSP courses or check your course of interest’s webpage to view fee information.

4. Your future earning potential is higher

According to the 2020 Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal National Report, salary outcomes for postgraduate coursework graduates are much higher than for undergraduates – a whopping $23,000 and increasing further with a postgraduate research degree:

  • $75,000 undergraduate median salary (medium-term)

  • $98,000 postgraduate coursework median salary (medium-term)

  • $103,000 postgraduate research median salary (medium-term)

5. Accreditation for certain careers

If you want to enter the world of academia or seek a particular profession through study at UWA, you may be required to complete postgraduate study. For example, if you enrol in the Master of Professional Accounting, you’re able to complete the professional study requirements of the Chartered Accountants (CA) qualification as part of your degree, setting you apart in the job market. This inclusion of CA Program modules offers a university degree like no other in WA. While most graduates complete their CA qualifications while working in their first job, the embedded CA Program ensures you’ll complete all the academic requirements (including CA exams) before starting work, improving your career opportunities.

6. Stand out to employers

Postgrad qualifications signal to an employer that you’ve put in time and effort beyond an initial degree to gain specialised skills and knowledge. If you’re going for a job against someone with a similar background and with a bachelor’s qualification, you can use this to stand out.

Full‐time employment rates tend to be higher for postgraduates than for bachelor’s degree graduates, according to Graduate Careers Australia’s (GCA) Beyond Graduation 2014 report. This backs up the idea that pursuing a postgraduate degree can make you a stronger job applicant.

Evidence in the GCA’s 2013 Graduate Destinations Report also suggested people with postgraduate degrees were more likely to find employment than those with a graduate degree or no degree at all, finding 92.4 per cent of new postgraduates were in some form of employment shortly after completing their degree.

7. You don’t have to leave your job

How often have you thought that working and studying at the same time wouldn’t be possible? Well, we all know life is busy, so why not choose a flexible course so you can balance study you’re your work or family commitments, or if you’re self-employed.

The completely online, part-time Graduate Certificate in Commerce (Online) is a standalone qualification that can serve as an entry point into the Master of Commerce and is ideal for graduates who do not hold an undergraduate degree in business. Other online and part-time courses include Building Information Modelling, the Diagnosis and Assessment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and Health Professions Education. You can even do an MBA while working.

8. Articulated courses and exit options

In some areas, ‘articulated’ courses are offered at postgraduate level. This means the courses share common units, so if you’ve completed a shorter course in a sequence of courses (such as a graduate certificate), you could enrol in a longer course in the sequence (such as a master's) with credit from the units you previously completed.

Start out with a graduate certificate and progress to a longer course if you like it. For example, if you complete a particular MBA pathway graduate certificate, you could articulate into the MBA Flexible program (and be credited for those units), so you end up with both a graduate certificate and a master’s degree. The Graduate Certificate in Business Psychology also leads into the Master of Business Psychology.

9. Show your commitment

Completing a degree alongside your job sends a signal to your employer that you’re putting in the effort and that you want to advance. This kind of dedication demonstrates your commitment to both your role and your organisation. It shows you’re aware of your current skill set and where you can potentially improve and build upon to be ready for the job you want when it is available.

10. Reconnect with your industry

Perhaps you’ve been working in your role for a while and things are feeling a bit stagnant. Use a postgrad degree to refresh your skills and knowledge by accessing up-to-date information in your field. Learn the latest trends and see what’s coming on the horizon for your industry.

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