Find out why postgraduate study is so important in a world of innovation, where upskilling is a necessary mechanism for survival.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2016 Global Challenges Insight Report - ‘The Future of Jobs’, acknowledges the evolution of job markets and in-demand skills are changing at an accelerating rate. This means professional versatility and agility are becoming imperative. In a future where technology dominates, however, those skills that are distinctly human will be among the most valuable, and it is these skills that are enriched through postgraduate study.
“Leadership, cross-cultural communication, problem solving and teamwork are all highly valued by employers and will be a critical element in preparing graduates to compete in the global war for smart talent,” said Professor Jane den Hollander in her contribution to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s report – ‘Australia’s Future Workforce?’
Given the accountability of a University to deliver against these learning outcomes, a master’s degree opens you up to not only more career options, but may even spark a career idea of your own.
Here are five outstanding advantages our students have experienced through postgraduate study.
Carrie Kassian’s master’s degree in public health took her to Geneva for an internship with the World Health Organisation and opened up a whole new world of career opportunities outside of working in a hospital with patients.
“Doing the international public health program allowed me to gain some skills within research, doing high level analysis that enabled me to go from working as a registered nurse to sitting at a table with members of the board and help make decisions that will ultimately impact the lives of patients.”
In a completely different industry, Adrian Enright added to his undergraduate education in environmental science and economics to pursue his passion for the environment and work on the global issue of climate change.
“I knew that if I could combine (those) with the Master of Development Studies then I would be able to then put all those skills together and essentially, look after the environment but in a way that would engage big business and make a real difference.”
The WEF Report cites that “with regard to the overall scale of demand for various skills in 2020, more than one third (36%) of all jobs across industries are expected … to require complex problem-solving as one of their core skills”.
Social media’s ubiquitous influence is an undeniable driver of technological change, and as part of his Master of Management, James Flynn had the opportunity to work on the problem of how social media can be used within businesses and between businesses to change culture and increase people’s enjoyment in their work.
Meeting other architects in Venice, Italy for the biennale gave architecture master’s degree student Matilda Leake the opportunity to share Australian architecture on a worldwide scale.
“It was the most inspiring trip and when I came home I felt like I could change the world with architecture, and for me going into the workforce that has given me I think a huge edge.”
It was the international experience and perspective gained in Laos combined with the opportunity to complete a research project with an industry partner that led Master of Sustainability student Amira Hashemi to secure a full-time job in an industry she loves.
“My capstone research project at Fraser’s Property Australia fed directly into their sustainability strategy so I was very happy to have that implemented as a direct result of my research.”
Her passion for human rights has already led Hannah Solomons to engage with issues on a global scale through her master’s degree in law.
“My JD (Juris Doctor) enabled me to go to Cambodia to work for the UN which is pretty exciting. I got a chance to analyse and research law at a really interesting frontier level.”
“So much happens at a global level today”, Hannah said, “we’re developing an international criminal justice system to speak up for the people who are the most horrifically treated. Being a part of that in various ways is what the JD helped me to do.”
Postgraduate funding is available for some postgraduate degrees through Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) based on merit.
For career ideas and advice on career options, speak to our team at the Careers Centre.
When considering a postgraduate degree, the choice isn’t only deciding whether to do a master’s degree (coursework) or a PhD (research) – there are other postgraduate study options that could help you achieve your goals.
From student loans to scholarships, subsidised fees to credit for previous study, we've put together a checklist of possible options to finance your postgraduate study.
Official figures suggest today’s graduates may change jobs more than 17 times. Welcome to the brave new world of employment where agility rules and careers are about constant change and reskilling.