Postgraduate students

Postgraduate education is often marketed to students in terms of the enhanced career prospects it provides. Postgraduate provision therefore needs clear careers and employability support in many of the same ways as provided for undergraduates. This will include providing work experience opportunities, having a curriculum informed by and involving employers/alumni, making space for reflection on learning and careers etc.

Postgraduate students need just as much attention paying to their employability as undergraduates. Employers do not necessarily understand the benefit of postgraduate qualifications and so postgraduates may need particular help articulating and selling this value added aspect of their education. Like undergraduates, some postgraduates will be doing a postgraduate qualification because they have very specific goals; but others will be carrying on in their studies because they are still unsure of what they want to do. Both will need support with their employability, but the support they require may need to be different.

Because postgraduate students are more mature there may be a tendency to assume that they know what to do to support their own employability development, but this is not the case. HEFCE's Postgraduate Experience Project indicated that postgraduates had very low levels of engagement with university employment and support services, therefore postgraduates may need as much, if not more, encouragement to engage with and take action on their employability.

The Careers & Employability Service will support postgraduates seeking placements, work experience and employment.


Resources 

Plymouth University Careers & Employability postgraduate students webpage 

UUK and HESCU (2014). Masters with a purpose: taught postgraduate employability and employer engagement, Summary Report.

Vitae – An organisation for the professional development of researchers, working towards enhancing the skills and careers of researchers. 

The Complete University Guide – Top 10 Postgraduate Subjects for Employability 

Daymon, C. And Durkin, K. (2013) ‘The impact of marketisation on postgraduate career preparedness in a high skills economy’, in Studies in Higher Education, 38: 4. 

AGCAS (2011) Fostering employability skills in postgraduate students’ practice and research. Graduate Market Trends, Winter 2011. 

The University of Edinburgh Taught Postgraduate career service advice. Example of the provision of information and advice for taught postgraduates on career options, job search, ‘marketing yourself’ and ‘making the most of your time as a student’. 

University of Birmingham Career Network for Postgraduate Researchers and the Careers Network Services for Masters Students. Includes resources such as exemplar CVs for research students. 

University of Birmingham- ‘Post Grad Tips’ brochure – An insider’s view for taught postgraduates on how to get ahead in the job market