Many postgraduate courses include the transferable skills that you will pick up as part of the information for applicants.This table illustrates the top eight transferable skills that PhD students would like to improve on, as revealed in a recent survey.
Here are five key transferable skills that you will gain on every postgraduate course.
Perhaps this is a little obvious, but if you’re doing a Masters by Research or a PhD then you are going to come away with some substantial research skills. But what about if you are studying a masters degree, PGCert, a Postgraduate Diploma or a PGCE? Well, these postgraduate courses will all have essays and assessments that require you to research at postgraduate level. Not to mention the research and analysis that you will need to do between lectures and tutorials to be able to discuss that session's study topic. Understanding where and how to search at a higher academic level for reliable information gathering is a useful skill both in your own life but also in many career paths.
Many of us put excellent communication skills down on our CVs without giving it a second thought. It seems straight forwards that if you can speak to other people then you can communicate. But, improving those skills so you can succinctly express complicated thoughts and ideas can only be done with plenty of practice. A postgraduate course will give you the chance throughout the tutorials, essays and exams to work on your verbal and written communication skills.
Presentation is a two-fold transferable skill. First, there is the formal presentation process that many postgraduate courses use as an assessment tool. Expressing yourself in what is essentially a mini-lecture is a skill that is perfect for students wishing to work within lots of career paths, and particularly those involving managing organisations and businesses. If you have come straight from your undergraduate degree or your postgraduate study is to change career paths, then learning what is appropriate clothing and behaviour in your new environment is an important part of your future success.
Time Management Skills
Postgraduate study, especially if you are working or studying full time, is a significant undertaking and if you have other commitments or responsibilities, then fitting them all in is not easy, making time management essential. Planning your time by taking the year into account and when assessments are due will prove difficult. Being able to discuss this with the people who are close to you is a good skill that will help you with a busy career in the future.
Talking with people you don’t know about your job or career and how you can help each other is not something many people enjoy at first. However, getting to enjoy talking with other people in a networking session is useful to most careers. You shouldn’t just think about formal networking meetings alone, getting comfortable with chatting to other people in an informal setting is also an essential aspect to success in most career paths.