So, after spending all that effort on your coursework, and all those hours in the library, and all that money on being a student for yet another year…will your new degree actually put you in with a better chance of finding a job?
The good news is that in most ways, it will. But, this depends on the career you're hoping to get into, as well as the sort of degree you have. That's why it's important to plan how you'll use your next degree to get work after you graduate, rather than just choosing a subject based on cost or your latest whim. Combine both interest and practicality when you look for courses to apply for.
Because the job market is so tough, some students choose to pursue another degree because they're having trouble finding paid work, and they hope their chances will have improved by the time they finish their course. This can be a bit of a gamble because employers in most industries place a high value on practical experience, and spending time in a classroom instead of the workplace might not put you in any better spot than you were before.
So, if the reason you're thinking about doing another degree is merely to hold off finding a job, or perhaps get an edge over people in the industry, look for a course that combines lectures with work experience. That way, you'll come out with a good qualification, a few industry contacts and valuable on-the-job skills.
One area where your postgraduate degree will give you a significant advantage is in applying for graduate positions. Most people do this straight after uni, but the number of people applying for graduate jobs far exceeds the number of positions that are actually available. So, a combination of a bachelor's degree, master's degree and work experience will make your CV stand out far beyond everyone else's. You'll also show that you're serious about pursuing a career in that area, which potential employers also like to see.
When you do pass the job-seeking hurdles and finally land your first position, you may find that your starting salary is higher than it would be if you only had a bachelor's degree. Average annual salaries for those with postgraduate degrees can be more than £10,000 higher than those with undergraduate degrees, and this balances out the cost of a second degree pretty nicely!
The decision of whether or not to go for a postgraduate degree or further qualifications may have been chosen for you already by the sort of career you want, in which case further education is a must if you want to get into that sector. This includes industries such as law, medicine, teaching and social work. In other job areas such as accountancy and engineering, you'll find that additional qualifications are a big part of progressing in your career. These may be set out already by professional organisations for the sort of job you have, and are sometimes necessary to have if you want to move between companies after going past the graduate entry level.