Is it Better to get a Job or do a Master's?by Newcastle University
As your undergraduate education comes to a close, don’t be surprised if emotions - and stress levels - are running high. Many students find themselves at a crossroads, confronted with the question: should I continue studying or take the leap into my professional career?
The pressures of choosing whether to pursue further education or get a job can feel a little overwhelming.
Below, we've listed just a few of the benefits to each to help you make a decision. However, do remember to take advantage of the university's career service. Our team are more than equipped to help you talk through your options and make a choice that's right for you.
The benefits of getting a job
You can build a portfolio of experience
Though it's competitive, there is a huge range of roles out there for graduates and entry-level candidates. These roles provide a good foundation of knowledge, with which you can decide which is the right field of expertise for you, and even use to go on to study a postgraduate degree at a later time.
In fact, some may argue this is more valuable than going straight from an undergraduate degree to a postgraduate, as it tells future employers that you’re well acquainted with your specialism from both academic and practical standpoints.
You will have a secure income
Often, getting a job is the more financially stable option, unless you have managed to save throughout your undergraduate studies, it’s likely you may need to spend some time building up a reserve of savings to support you throughout your postgraduate education. This is if you don’t want to work as you study.
You will get a break from studying
As a fresh-faced graduate, you’re probably no stranger to the toll studying can take on you. As such, many students take a break from all-nighters in the library and gruelling referencing standards, to recharge and enjoy a change of pace. Some might argue this would put you in a better position to take up a postgraduate degree at a later date.
The benefits of doing a master's straight away
You will be more employable
Having a postgraduate degree is very lucrative, and can improve your employability. A 2019 study showed that postgraduates are more likely to be in high-skilled employment - such as professional or managerial roles - than graduates. In fact, 79% of all working-age postgraduates were in high-skilled employment in 2019.
You can carry on the momentum
By studying a master's straight after your degree, it’s likely you’re still in the ‘studying head space’ and will find writing essays, researching and taking notes comes naturally to you - perhaps unlike if you were to have taken a break
Getting a master's when you’re part way through your career can often feel like you’re disrupting your progress, especially if you’re working somewhere where you’ve made a lot of progress already. It's for this reason that many students choose to front load their education and keep their studying momentum going.
You can explore your chosen discipline in greater depth
Whether you've found your passion in life during your undergraduate studies, or uncovered a completely new postgraduate course of your dreams; going straight into a master's degree gives you the chance to delve deep into a topic area you really care about.
The final verdict
Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to studying a master's or going into work. The answer will always depend on you, your career goals and what's realistic from a financial perspective.
For more advice, why not read our latest blog on whether to do a master's? In this post, we cover what a master's entails in much more detail. Alternatively, refer to our careers service page or browse the postgraduate courses we have on offer.
Published By Newcastle University on 29/05/2020 | Last Updated 17/03/2023