“Graduating from your first qualification is an important milestone, but it should be viewed as just that – a milestone, not the end of the road,” says Dr Felicity Coughlan, Director of The Independent Institute of Education, South African personal upper schooling institution. Coughlan says one’s first qualification must be regarded as a basis upon which to design and construct one’s vision of the longer term.
“Your success now depends on what you build on top of that foundation, and for successful people that often includes further study and development of skills. In a world where demands on professionals in the workplace change constantly, this is even truer than it was even a few years ago. Success will, for most people, require them to keep building on their foundations and to commit to an attitude of lifelong learning,” she says.
Coughlan notes that whilst being a graduate considerably improves an individual’s probabilities of discovering employment, protecting a postgraduate qualification significantly boosts their possibilities in a tricky activity market.
“It is all about differentiating yourself from your peers,” she says. “So it is really important to understand that your next steps will make a difference.”
Pursuing a Postgraduate Diploma
Particularly those graduates with relatively generic undergraduate qualifications must critically imagine investing a little bit more time to earn a postgraduate qualification.
For many, a Postgraduate Diploma may well be the next easiest step, she says. “Postgraduate Diplomas are intended to help you focus, diversify your skillset and even change direction, so the entrance requirements are often more open than would be the case for an Honours degree,” says Coughlan. She says in Postgraduate Diploma find out about, principle and sensible software are combined, with the emphasis on the latter.
“A Postgraduate Diploma also allows students to progress straight to a Master’s Degree. It is, therefore, the ideal qualification type for students who want to wrap up and consolidate their undergraduate qualifications with a career-specific focus.”
On the opposite hand, new graduates who wish to increase their educational intensity in a specific subject, or those that are already certain they need to pursue a Master’s or even growth the entire method to a Doctorate, must severely believe going the Honours route subsequent.
“These are more academic and theoretical than a Postgraduate Diploma, and they include a compulsory research component,” she says. “As a result, you will be ready for a Master’s afterwards and you will already have had experience conducting research – which is a very valuable skill for anyone in the workplace. In the world of false information, the ability to ask the right questions and get valid and reliable answers is a highly marketable skill – and that is really what research is about.”
Coughlan says that the recommendation additionally holds true for individuals who have already entered the office. “There is an increasing trend for working adults to seek formal qualifications later in their working life, to remain competitive with a current and diverse skillset.
Short courses have real value for narrow and defined skill sets but a new qualification – particularly one that should not take you more than a year to 18 months to complete, is a great career and CV enhancer while it also builds really deep skillsets for you,” she says. Coughlan says that because the Class of 2019 means the tip of their final year of undergraduate research, they should focal point on doing in addition to they are able to.
“Particularly immediately after graduation, the results you get will strongly influence your immediate options and what you are able to study next. Once you have some work experience, your results become less important and your experience and work performance more so.
But in the long run, the better your results are, the stronger the impression they create on others – whether that be on future employers, or the institution at which you start the next leg on your lifelong learning journey.”