Studying a work-related Masters course – things to consider

Written By

Think Postgrad

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is a work related masters degree worth it?
  • Where can I find work related masters courses?

Guide to the best masters courses for career changes and furthering your career

If you are considering a career change or studying a work-related Masters course, you may either already be working. You want to stay in your current career or change careers. You may not yet have started work and think a postgraduate degree will help you get the job you want. There are a number of things you may find it helpful to consider.

Will a masters degree course really help me move on in my career?

If you are working, and want to advance or change career, you may need a specific masters course. See if you can identify colleagues, or stories of others who have completed a postgraduate degree for that reason.

If you are looking to move careers, check out relevant professional related websites. They may have an education or advice section, or an online community. You can also contact the university where you did your first degree to talk to the careers service. They are happy to help alumni and should be able to give you impartial advice. If you are not yet working and want to enter a particular career, try talking to some key employers in the sector and ask for advice. If they have employed students with a work related masters degree, have they found it valuable? Were there particular courses they were impressed by?

What are the best courses to study in the UK for a Masters?

When choosing a course, always ask the university where alumni from the course have gone on to work, and similarly what their job titles were afterwards. They may be able to put you in touch with alumni who have gone on to interesting jobs. This can help you decide whether the course would be useful to you.

Many Universities will post videos that feature alumni who have gone on to achieve great career steps. These will be prominent on their websites or on MastersCompare under student stories. Universities rely on new students enrolling every year -they want to share these stories with you as proof of success.

Make sure the course content covers the areas you need or are most interested in. Does the course offer an internship, and which companies are these with? Ask to talk to a current student. In addition, it's a good idea to find out what is the Department's connections with the industry? What events or networks they run to help students on the course have contact with employers? Universities are increasingly understanding the need to do this proactively.

What about the money for a masters degree?

If you are already working, you may be able to ask your employer for a contribution or to pay for the fees. The UK Government Masters Loan is really popular. Another alternative to a Masters Loan is the Apprenticeships scheme. This is very popular with big companies who are using the financial support available to enable on-the-job degree qualifications and training for their staff, delivered through a partnership with a University. Some of these courses are offered at masters level.

Think about how the course will benefit you and your employer, because an Apprenticeship supports both the individual and the company. The employer has to meet certain criteria in order that you can study and work at the same time.

Courses can vary in cost, even if the content appears similar depending on the expertise and in addition the reputation of the university. Whether or not you are already working, you may now be able to apply for the postgraduate loans, depending on eligibility.

Is a work-related or career Masters degree worth it?

Most students studying a work-related Masters course want it to be 'worth it' in more than just financial terms - in addition they want to increase their knowledge, exercise their minds, and gain valuable experience and contacts. If you choose a course that will help you do what you really want to do, and pursue a career that matters to you, it will hopefully be a long term commitment that will repay the investment for many years.

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