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Action plan for Post Graduates

Students who do post- graduate study often have much better employment prospects. Although academia is a popular destination for postgraduates, experiences for graduates to work in non-academic cream market jobs are many. You can apply for jobs related to your post graduate degree or apply to typical graduate schemes. When applying for non-scholarly jobs, you need to show potential employers how your knowledge and expertise will be beneficial in the workplace.

  1. Critical skills that postgraduates can highlight to employers compared to undergraduates include: communication skills – point to the many presentations or lectures you will have given.
  2. Transferable skills from the various coursework and assignments you’ve completed – list skills that you may have picked up in doing research from unstructured date, computer programming, statistical analysis, etc. – from your postgraduate work which may be highly translatable to a business role.
  3. Creative Thinking and Problem – solving are essential skills for alumni as they are often asked to think outside the box. Make sure you emphasise the various situations where you have demonstrated this-  during your postgraduate studies you will have tackled and solved numerous problems, especially in research.
  4. Organisational skills such as managing your own time between academics, social life, work, etc. ; or a working with a team to conduct research and coordinating tasks necessary to complete the project.
  5. Self-motivation – as a graduate student, you are independent and expected to make decisions without hand-holding

It is worth regularly checking sector-specific websites and publications for job adverts in publications like The Economist, Nature Jobs, and New Scientist Jobs.

The postgraduate study needs to be portrayed not just as a tactic to delay getting a job, but something that provides extra skills and makes one more employable.

If you are applying to the elite graduate schemes, you will have to fit in with the schedule for undergraduates.

This will mean being incredibly organised when your postgraduate studies finish, and prior to when you want to start work. Typically, graduate students spend their last few months writing a thesis, and this may not be the ideal time to be doing a job search. So, you may want to decide if you are going to delay your job search until your thesis is submitted, or organise yourself well enough that you can do both.

July 11th, 2017

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