When it comes to postgraduate study, there’s no singular reason to get started, nor is there one specific type of ‘capable’ person. It’s something that you, whoever you are, can benefit immensely from – whether it’s for the betterment of your career, or simply for the love of learning.
It’s no small decision – there’s time, money and effort to consider, not to mention the fear of failure, to which nobody is immune. But before you make your next move, here’s a few solid reasons why a postgrad course is not only a great decision, but is easier to accomplish than you may think.
But first, how does it work?
Postgraduate study available through Open Universities Australia (OUA) comes in 3 qualification types, in order of achievement level:
- Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Diploma
- Master’s Degree
In most cases, these 3 qualifications are nested into a particular program. Say you’re studying a postgraduate writing program (we offer one through Swinburne University) – in a typical scenario, you can reach a graduate certificate after passing 4 subjects, a graduate diploma after 8 subjects, and a master’s after 12 subjects.
Having the ability to exit after 4, 8 or 12 subjects means that you’ll still be awarded a recognised qualification, which is higher than an undergraduate degree.
Your work experience could get you in the door
Some things you just can’t learn from books. If you have over 5 years of work experience, you may be eligible to start at graduate certificate level, rather than beginning with an undergraduate degree. You can also apply for credit for past study. Not only does undertaking a graduate certificate allow you to specialise in the areas that most interest you, it gives you an opportunity to strengthen your existing skills and apply them directly in your job at the same time.
Try before you commit
Did you know you can study a postgraduate single subject? These subjects form part of a postgraduate qualification, but you can also study them in isolation. This is a great way to acquire a new skill for a lower cost than a full-length course. If you find that you like it and want more, you’re bound to have more confidence to pursue the full-length course than you would have initially.
Build your own course
If you’ve got specific learning goals that a standard course structure can’t cater for, you’ve got the ability to pick elective subjects across OUA’s 15 partner universities, in study areas outside your major focus area. The world needs diverse thinkers, doers and creators, so you don’t have to follow a prescriptive or traditional path to get your postgraduate degree. Consult the webpage of your desired course for further guidelines on this unique opportunity.
Manage the cost, and reap the financial rewards
When it comes to fees, OUA offers access to government loans such as HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP. And the flip side is that once you complete your postgraduate qualification, you’ll make a higher salary. The median salary for all postgraduates in 2018 was $83,300 – compared to $61,000 for bachelor degree graduates. So it pays to invest in your career.
Future-proof your career
Further study increases your chances of landing your dream career. It’s competitive out there, so anything that can give you an edge is worth exploring. The full-time employment rate for postgraduate graduates in 2018 was 86.9 per cent compared to 72.9 per cent for undergraduates.
Postgrad study can not only help you become employed, but can help you stay vital in your industry as technology advances. Choosing to refresh your skills through postgrad study will ensure that you stay ahead of the pack and feel confident at work.
How do I get started?
We make it simple. If there’s a course, or a single subject that you’re interested in, you’ll only need to apply once through OUA’s standard enrolment process.
Eligibility criteria can vary based on course, but where there’s a will there’s a way. Contact an OUA student advisor, or fill out the form on this page, to have a conversation about your options for entering postgraduate study.
It’s not out of reach.