Recent research has shown that graduates earn more than non-graduates – and postgraduates earn more than both of the former groups. In fact, those with a second degree will earn £6,000 more than those with one degree on average each year. The evidence suggests that choosing to complete a second degree can enhance career earnings, but who is most likely to go down this path? And why is a second degree an even better option today?
While many students will stop their studies after their undergraduate degree and enter the job market, others choose to keep going and enrol onto a master’s degree. This is done with the aim to specialise in an area and tailor their CV. Competition for graduate jobs can be fierce so a postgraduate degree may feel like the only option and a worthwhile investment. It should also be noted that a master’s degree is just one step on the path to a PhD as well.
For another section of graduates, the time and money spent on their initial degree have not brought them the career they had hoped for. Whether that was because they made an uncalculated decision, because more competing students are getting higher grades, or because of economic shifts, there is always the option of hitting the refresh button for some people. These former students can head back to the lecture hall to diversify their knowledge and skills with some master’s degrees, or even choose to do a second bachelor’s degree.
Some postgraduate degrees are going to be a more solid investment than others. Students who previously studied computer science, engineering, medicine and business appear to benefit the most from further study. However, there are certain ways of specialising in these areas that make them even more worth it:
Business – business is one of the most popular undergraduate courses from Australia to the UK and further afield. However, not enough of these graduates take advantage of the next step that can really set them apart from their peers. A Master of Business Administration course can provide grads with diverse skills and management attributes that can propel a career. Learner satisfaction of MBA online courses is really high too.
Engineering – engineering degrees are already proven to be worth the paper they are written on – and much more. However, engineers that choose to specialise in aerospace or chemical engineering with another stint at university usually earn more.
Computer science – grads with a computer science degree may make it even more valuable if they treat it as a stepping stone to study software development or database administration. The tech industry is expected to increase jobs by up to 27% so more qualifications will certainly help you stand out.
Medicine – there are countless good opportunities for doctors to become experts in an area of medicine. One of the best at the moment is psychiatry due to growing wages and an increased need for mental health services in modern day society.
The choice of completing a second degree was once more of a headache than it is today. The reason the decision is made somewhat easier now is because of online degrees. Universities all over the world, including some of the best, now offer online master’s degrees in a range of subjects. This makes them more appealing because learners can earn a degree from universities in all corners of the globe from the comfort of their hometown.
They can also juggle studies with continued employment to fund these courses without the need for loans or grants. This benefit feeds into the hands of employers as they may even enrol staff into a second degree to train them for specialised positions, without having to lose them completely to the academic world for a number of years.
The research suggests that a second degree will work out as a great investment for grads, but this will depend on a number of things. Ultimately it depends on your discipline as some degrees will earn more than others. Unless, of course, you aim to go even further and complete a PhD and become an academic.
The good news is that for those who do want to enrol a second degree, they can do it online and earn it without having to move home or give up some level of employment, thanks to online courses.
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