How can a postgraduate course help international students with their employability?

Many international students make the decision each year to start a postgraduate degree in the UK to further their careers and with good reason- according to a study by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, it is predicted that around 1 in 7 jobs will likely need a postgraduate degree by 2022. Not only that, but the UK is seen by many global employers as a destination for high-quality postgraduate study. A British Council Survey of 350 China employers found that 52 percent felt that postgraduates from UK universities are the best in the world. If you’re unsure of what your options are or how postgraduate study could benefit your career, we’ve put this guide together to help you decide.

What are your options?

Choosing a postgraduate course is a way to maximise your chance of getting a graduate role in the UK and is popular with international students wanting to give themselves an advantage in the UK job market. The key courses are:

Masters, is the most common type of course. They typically last a year in the UK. This course will look at a particular subject in great detail.

MBA which provides an overview of key business practices and is usually taken on after taking on some professional experience.

Postgraduate Diploma, this usually takes place over two terms and does not include a dissertation but can contribute to a Masters degree.

PHD’s take around 3-4 years and are independent research working towards a thesis.

What are the benefits?

The value of post-graduate courses is clear where you look at the connections to industry and the opportunity for detailed knowledge that comes with them. At undergraduate level, the objective is to gain broad knowledge and the difference with postgraduate study is elevation to becoming a specialist in your field to stand out in a crowded job market or fill a specialist role. Postgraduate courses have strong links with industry and are designed to meet the demands of employers. Many courses, such as the Business and Management postgraduate qualification at UWE Bristol are created to help you meet people in the relevant industries. At a recent GradLink webinar, the Head of Department explained that UWE is passionate about student employability and powering the future workforce. Their postgraduate courses help support local economic prosperity, prepare students to take on global challenges and talk to employers so that students’ skills meet business needs. It’s important to find a course that will authentically engage with employers, create learning opportunities appropriate for your industry and prepare graduates who are ready to hit the job market. So, take the time to research all your options and what connections and opportunities your institution has with local businesses.

Postgraduate study enhances your employability as it helps you to find work easier and at a higher level, allowing graduates to come into their own when employers are looking for specialist knowledge to fill a specialist role. A 2020 report by the Higher Education Policy Institute revealed that postgrads earn on average 18% more than first degree holders, six month after graduation.

The experience you gain will be reflected in higher salaries because of the expertise needed. Such courses can also be used to upskill, convert your degree or to change direction. If you’re thinking of continuing your studies, speak to your institution and your careers team for further advice. For more employability updates and the latest news for international students register today with GradLink!

By Jen Garmston Published: Jan 17,2022

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