In this section we offer advice on what to do with your PhD or Masters qualification in regards to your career options, job searches, marketing yourself and making the most of your time as a student.

What can you do with your degree?

Upon graduation you will have the following options:

  • Seek employment related to your postgraduate degree
  • Seek employment unrelated to the subject of your postgraduate degree
  • Continue with a PhD or a further taught postgraduate degree in a particular field
  • Take time out to explore your options and enhance your CV

Marketing Yourself

Does your Masters/PhD give you an advantage?

Your postgraduate qualification will give you a distinct advantage over your competition, but just including it in your CV is not enough; you will need to promote the benefits and value of it to a prospective employer.

A postgraduate qualification doesn’t automatically demonstrate a higher level of competency and suitability. As well as describing the modules you undertook you will also need to mention how the course has developed you personally and what skills you have acquired since you graduated with your degree.

Focus on what employers are looking for:

  • Look out for buzzwords used by employers in job adverts. Focus honing your skills and experience around the words, such as motivated, organised and team-orientated, as these are traits they will be looking for in a potential candidate.
  • Research an employer
  • Browse company social media pages and websites to find out what the company has been up to and find out more about the organisation and the people working there. Take a look at their careers section to see lists of available vacancies.
  • Don’t be afraid to approach an organisation if you think you can add value to what they are trying to achieve. Read up on their ‘About Us’ section and find out about their direction to help you understand how you might be able to create a position that will benefit the company.

When you understand what an employer is looking for, you can tailor your application to suit their needs and demonstrate your suitability through your postgraduate experience.

When meeting with employers, many postgraduates make the mistake of expecting them to automatically offer higher salaries and special entry schemes which can create an impression of being demanding. Unless they promote schemes specifically for postgraduates, you should aim to demonstrate interest in the employer and ask questions to find out where you can add value. Promote your skills and experiences with the added benefit of completing a postgraduate course to enhance your suitability for a position.

Seeking employment

Start to look for positions with employment as soon as you start your postgrad to see what is available in the market and also to take advantage of vacancy applications that need to be submitted 6 months or a year in advance.

  • Attend UBD employer days and career fairs - Attend any events or talks hosted by employers and organisations that can expand your prospects and networking opportunities. Ask them about what they look for in an ideal candidate, what future plans the company has, what employees currently working for them have achieved and the types of roles available.
  • Speak to your academic supervisor for support and advice - For more information and ideas on how you can use your course subject, take a look at our Industry Insight section.