How I chose between a post-grad degree and a job

09 Mar 2022
By Joy K., Student at Robert Gordon University

Am I better off doing post-grad study, or looking for work? This is a common conundrum for many graduates, as both routes can feel a little uncertain. Here’s Joy with what helped her come to that decision.

One May afternoon I was sitting in my childhood bedroom, having just submitted my dissertation online. With the click of a button my undergraduate degree was over, and I was left with the question of what next?

There were multiple options for me to pick. Would I continue my studies and do a master’s, or would I look for a job? I had no idea what I wanted, so I decided to look into both.

Entering the job market

I already had a job in retail which had allowed me to earn some money and keep busy over the summer. However, my undergraduate was in journalism, and I wanted to work in journalism, media, social media or a content creator role. So I began looking for jobs.

I used mediabeans which posts daily jobs in writing, journalism, social media, and communications. I also found searching via the website of specific companies a useful way to find vacancies.

One thing I learnt during this process is not to be put off from applying if you think the job is out of your reach. Just give it a go, and if you are fortunate enough to get an interview that only adds to your experience. It’s also key you don’t sell yourself short - for example, you may think your volunteering during freshers isn’t noteworthy experience, but it shows you’re a hard-working team player with good communication skills.

Looking at post-grad options

At the same time I was applying for jobs, I looked at courses across different universities. Sites like www.whatuni.com and www.theuniguide.co.uk are great for comparing universities and degrees, and they let you request information, get a prospectus, and book a visit.

I found out that for most post-graduate degrees, you apply directly on the university site rather than through UCAS. Plus the application deadlines are more flexible than with undergraduate degrees, meaning you can continue applying until a few weeks before the start date. Some courses even let you start in January rather than September if that works better for you.

I ended up applying for two degrees - one in sports management and the other in digital marketing. Thankfully, I was offered a place on both so I had a couple of options on the table.

What I went for

I wasn’t successful in my interviews for my job applications, and after some thought, decided to undertake a master’s programme in sports management - knowing this would help me go into sports content creation after I graduate.

Now, five months on, I am confident I made the right decision. I have moved to an exciting new city, made new friends, and started making memories. For once, I feel excited about the prospect of my future career.

f
Enjoyed this article? Give it a like
A Northern Irish, caffeine fuelled, food-loving photographer and aspiring journalist, who likes to think they're funny. Political fan, dog enthusiast and music lover. Expect sarcasm, puns and bad jokes.