With a problematic economy and a fierce job market, more and more middle-aged people are jumping at the chance to have a break from climbing the corporate ladder and go back to university. For those who already have a degree, postgraduate studies are a perfect way of combining real-life knowledge with the classroom to get a degree than can really benefit your CV, even at forty or fifty.
Here are the top seven reasons why now is a great time for older people to get a postgraduate degree.
1. Your work experience will make applications easier.
There is no better addition to a postgraduate application than having actually worked in the field. Working often gives you skills that younger graduates just don’t have, giving you a serious competitive edge in applying for top-tier universities. It’s not just in the application process that work experience can benefit you: years of nine-to-fives often instill a serious work ethic that you will treasure when slogging away at a research degree.
2. You’ve got the money to pay for it (and it will pay dividends later on).
After years of holding down a job and saving, older people are much more likely to be able to afford postgraduate degree fees that are often upwards of £10000. They are also able to take advantage of the many scholarships that are specifically aimed at mature students or people who have work experience.
The decision to get a postgraduate degree can also open many doors for you, so you may find on returning to the jobs market you are able to get a much higher-paid job that will cover the original expense of the degree tenfold.
3. You’re won’t be the only older person in the classroom.
Although you might imagine the typical student to be in their twenties, the actual truth is that many people in their thirties, forties and fifties are in academia also. Although the range is different depending on the university, the average age of a postgraduate is often late thirties, not late twenties.
4. You’ll get a great sense of fulfilment.
Some people going back to university to get a postgraduate degree have nursed a long-time ambition for a MA or PHD but just haven’t had the time or opportunity to go for it. If you are one of those people who have always wished to have more letters than just BA or BSc after your name, then the fulfillment of actually achieving that goal can have a profound impact on your life.
5. It will do wonders for your CV.
If the reason why you’re going for a postgraduate degree later in life is to expand your job options , then you’re in luck. A bachelors degree just doesn’t have the same value that it did when many people left university twenty or thirty years ago. A postgraduate degree is much less common and much more likely to get your CV to the top of the pile, where it belongs.
6. You can fit your degree around your lifestyle If you’re worried that you don’t have enough time to get a degree, then fear not. More universities than ever are giving the option of studying part-time, so even if you have kids or other commitments you will be able to work your degree around it all.
7. It enables you to change direction If you’ve spent your entire working like in banking but have always wished you worked in development, then a postgraduate degree will you the experience that you need to change tracks that you have perhaps lacked in the past.
Whatever you decide, a postgraduate degree is a great experience and a great addition to your CV. If going for a Masters or a PhD is something you’ve always dreamed of, then there has never been a better time to take some time out and go for it.
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