Maybe you're about to finish your first degree or you've been working for a few years and think your career could do with a reboot? Perhaps you've found the career of your dreams and have just realised you need to study further? Whatever you reasons for postgraduate study – it’s a decision you won’t regret.
Here are a few tips on how to go about picking the perfect postgraduate course for you.
What do you enjoy?
If you have no idea what you would like to study, then start at the very beginning and think about what it is you enjoy. What did you enjoy in your first degree, what aspects of any previous jobs did you enjoy and what do you find interesting? There is no point in going into the Hospitality Industry if you don't like talking to people or doing a Masters in Accountancy if you don't like working with numbers. A bit of thought now will save you a lifetime of unhappiness at work. No pressure. Write everything on paper and begin to narrow down which path you might want to take. Why not take the time to do some work experience in a field you think is the right way to go? Speak to people already working in a profession you are interested in and take advantage of any professional careers advisors you have access to.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses
Again what are you good at? Even if you don't love it with all your heart, there is something to be said about working in a field you excel in. Write down all of your strengths and weaknesses and compare this with what you enjoy. You're bound to have overlap, and this overlap will guide you to what you should study next. This knowledge about yourself will help in your application and interview for your dream course.
Give yourself plenty of time to do research
Don't rush the decision to do a postgraduate course and don't rush the research. It'll be both wasted time and money if you choose a postgraduate course that's not for you. Think about where you want to study and how you want to study. Do you want to study overseas and learn another language or experiencing another culture? Assess the quality of courses by checking out reviews of institutions and spend time at open days and information sessions getting all the facts you need to make a decision. You'll also want to think about how you are going to study. Will full-time study be for you or would part-time, online or distance learning fit better with you and your life?
Talk to other postgrad students about their experiences
Talking to people with postgraduate experience will be a big help to you. Students who have just completed a course will be invaluable as they will already know if their institution is the best place to study or not. Are the teaching and networking opportunities really as good as other institutions that you’re considering? Former students will know which tutors and lecturers are good and where they are based.