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Postgraduate education

Postgraduate programmes are ideally obtained after a bachelor’s degree or undergraduate education. Students and working professionals obtain these degrees in various concentrations to carve a more permanent niche in their careers as these degrees and programmes increase one’s chances of employment and advance one’s career.

Postgraduate degrees and programmes

A degree is simply a distinction of moving from one step to another. Two main classifications of postgraduate education are academic and vocational degrees. These degrees are obtained at different levels of study and academic life, sometimes as masters or doctorate degrees. The lengths of these programmes vary in countries usually between 1- 2 years and can be tailored according to individuals interests in different concentrations of the curriculum offered. Master's degrees in the UK, for example, tend to be focused on the programme subject and typically range from 12-18 months in length while doctorate degree length vary between Europe and North America as well duration which ranges between 3-5 years. The Doctorate degrees usually involve thesis and research in large contexts. Some of the common classifications under postgraduate are:

  •         Graduate certificate
  •         Graduate diploma
  •         Masters
  •         Professional doctorates

Some of these can be non-degree qualifications since they are being used to gain further education and as part of another degree or programme.

Different concentrations under postgraduate

A postgraduate dissertation is offered for all sorts of education ranging from science to commerce to social sciences. When offered in business, they are typically called executive education programmes and involve corporate internships and programmes. Masters degrees can have different formats and are given on the basis of the curriculum such as:

  • Post-graduate master’s degree (MA, MS, Med, Msc, MPH, MCom; for those with a bachelor’s degree)
  • Post-graduate master’s degree (MRes, MARes; for bachelor degree holders with research backgrounds and publications)
  • Executive master’s degree (EMBA, EMS; designed for executive professionals)
  • Integrated master’s degree (MChem, MPhys, Msci; this combined with bachelor’s and one year of master’s)

Different fields and training format

Postgraduate education is offered for all types of fields in science, engineering, business, commerce, social science, humanities, arts, education and business. Courses may be offered in a traditional classroom setting while many institutions are increasingly offering distance postgraduate courses. Business professionals typically go for Masters in Business Administration (MBA) after significant years of experience in their respective field as the admission requirement varies for different professionals and universities. The programmes are typically designed to give the candidates an exposure of the corporate world or hands on experience of the professional world for students. Usually, these programmes are designed for academic education as well as working internships at the end of the programmes. 

Benefits of postgraduate education

It has become increasingly hard for professionals to stand out with bachelor’s degrees alone. Postgraduate degrees provide opportunities for research and opens abundant opportunities for professionals with research ambitions. The degree of specialisation is more in postgraduate degrees, thus, gives more attention to development of skills in students and professionals. Ambitious students and working professionals looking to take the next step in their careers will find abundant opportunities with postgraduate degrees.