A postgraduate degree combined with work experience is a powerful duo; in fact, to fully benefit from studying a masters degree, professional experience in a relevant field is essential. Continuing your studies can significantly increase earning potential, give you the opportunity to stretch yourself, allow you to develop personally and professionally and make your CV stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
Whether you are a time-pressed professional or a career-changer, the flexibility offered by a distance learning master’s degree may be the key to unlocking your future potential.
If you already have a degree and solid experience in your industry, you can increase your prospects even further by conducting research in your existing specialisms or by exploring new areas of interest to help you move your career forward once your studies are complete.
Why Should I Study a Masters?
Postgraduate study is an exciting prospect and a big commitment, so it is worth taking the time to reflect on some of the reasons you want to pursue this goal and what you want to get from your course. Good reasons for choosing a master’s programme might include:
To climb the career ladder. A masters degree is very attractive to both UK and international employers, and if you are working in your industry of choice, it could lead to fast-track career progression. Your employer may offer to financially support you through your studies via sponsorship.
A desire to change your career path. Studying for a master’s can be very useful for opening doors to a wide variety of transitions if you are looking to change career and/or industry.
To develop research and analytical skills. The chance to hone valuable transferable and complementary skills is an important feature of masters-level study. The ability to evaluate the suitability of resources, data from experimentation and qualitative feedback will allow you to build valuable bodies of research on your chosen subject.
To gain entry into a specific profession. The right masters courses will facilitate access to relevant professions. Some industries will require niche-specific qualifications in order to progress to the higher levels, whilst others will simply restrict the available options to you should you not hold the relevant qualifications.
To progress to a PhD. A masters degree can sometimes be a requirement for study at this level. Even when it is not a strict requirement, it can be useful for making contacts and forming a peer group with common academic and professional interests.
To pursue a personal passion. A masters will emphasise your determination, drive and willingness to improve your knowledge and ability in a specific area. The chance to study a subject that you are genuinely passionate about can be a hugely rewarding and fulfilling experience.
To specialise in a certain field. You will benefit both from the academic rigour of study at this level and from practical, real-world experience gained through interactions with teaching staff and your fellow students.
A masters degree is a great way to expand your prospects through a combination of education, networking and conducting advanced research as part of the programme. The important thing is to identify what you want to achieve – only once you’re certain of this should you pick the right programme for you and your career. If you require a flexible approach with an advanced programme then a remotely delivered master’s degree could be the choice for you. Remember to consider:
- The career you want
- The relevant subject to study
- The format of delivery and how it fits around your work and life commitments
- Secondary benefits, e.g. networking with peers and the impact that could have on your future in your chosen industry
The University of Exeter Online offers 100% online courses. Our programmes are an ideal fit for busy professionals and career-changers who need the flexibility an online programme offers. We offer a community-based learning environment that encourages collaboration and independence.