Education for the Future: Benefits of Distance Postgraduate Courses
As more and more professionals are looking to set themselves apart on the job market, earning a postgraduate education provides a valuable way for them to carve out a niche in their careers and to improve their discipline-specific knowledge.
Distance Learning Advantages
Distance postgraduate courses provide adults with numerous other commitments the opportunity to increase their intellectual capital while offering the flexibility necessary to combine work and study.
Many institutions have realised the value of offering online postgraduate programmes and it is now possible to study for a Masters in Business in Business Administration (MBA) or, for programmes within science & research, a Masters of Science (M.S.) online.
Courses for Contemporary Life
According to the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 70% of part-time postgraduate students were over 30, and therefore, most likely already have professional lives to be balanced with coursework. Recognising this, higher education institutions have begun to offer distance postgraduate courses and other online options in order to accommodate students and help them succeed in their pursuit of higher education.
Completing distance postgraduate courses also opens up additional avenues for students to interact outside of the traditional classroom experience. Students can stay connected to professors and peers through email, discussion boards, forums, or social media all at the student’s convenience.
Why Employers Value Postgraduate Education
The advantage of a postgraduate education, in the eyes of employers, lies in the skills that accompany its completion. A report completed by the National Centre for Universities and Businesses (NCUB), found that seven out of ten employers sought out masters students and nine out of ten of those who did, valued the analytical thinking and problem solving that postgraduates possess.
The specialised knowledge that a postgraduate qualification provides was also a major advantage to the employers interviewed in the report. It indicated that candidates had the ability to research and, to a certain degree, innovate, making them highly attractive, particularly in comparison to those with only undergraduate experience.
Postgraduate studies are also an important tool for many employers’ continuing professional development (CPD) programmes, as certain employers elect to train their existing workforce to postgraduate level. In these cases, in-house training and technical courses were preferred in order to best accommodate the employer and its employees. Such modularised postgraduate learning is well-suited to the format of distance postgraduate courses.
Advancing Your Financial Capital: Careers Where a Postgraduate Education Pays Off
As job roles become increasingly specialised, the importance of soft skills and education also increases. Employees can build on their already existing qualifications by completing postgraduate courses online and many professions see a direct correlation between educational attainment and pay growth.
Forbes evaluated the mid- career data for 45 popular master's degrees and compiled its 2015 list of the best masters degrees for jobs. The top 10 choices included
- Biomedical engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- General and Strategic Mgmt
- IT Mgmt
- Chemical Engineering
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Systems Engineering
As the list highlights, obtaining such additional qualifications is highly beneficial to engineering and IT professionals although the skills afforded by a postgraduate education are valuable to a range of fields. Distance postgraduate courses are an ideal way of developing these skills while maintaining the flexibility so vital to working professionals.