When you took the first steps on your career path after high school, did you really know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Chances are, you started out with only a vague idea of what you wanted your life to look like, and an even murkier understanding of how you’d align that picture to the broader employment landscape by the time you finished studying or seeing the world.
With an undergraduate qualification no longer being the competitive draw card it used to be, many graduates and working professionals are thinking about formalising their skills and expertise through specialised postgraduate study. Here are three key career path indicators it might be time for you to think about going back to school to gain the edge over your competitors.
1. You want to get a foot in the door of your dream industry
The global economic climate is still on the upswing following 2008’s recession, triggering an aggressive appetite for growth across industries. Organisations across the board are once again looking for highly skilled human capital to take their businesses to the next level, and lucrative opportunities for promising graduates are abundant.
Competition in this increasingly crowded occupational marketplace is fierce. Professionals are shifting their outlook from one of risk aversion to one of career development, chasing down opportunities to formalise their skills and set themselves apart with specialised areas of industry-relevant expertise.
Online postgraduate study is rising to meet this challenge: in offering you the unique opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while sharpening your competitive edge with a respected qualification, you will secure your point of entry into the field you see yourself working in two or three years from today.
2. You’re looking at the bigger picture to secure long-term career advancement
Postgraduate study is most valuable when you make the investment for the right reasons. If you are already fortunate enough to be establishing a career path in an industry you are passionately excited about, the decision to embark on further formal education to enhance your marketability and business acumen is one of the most important career moves you’ll ever make.
Think carefully about your 5-year career plan: can you articulate exactly where you want to be and how you’re going to get there? Postgraduate study is one of the smartest ways to safeguard upward momentum from your current position and ensure that you accumulate a transferable skill set you can take with you on new ventures, both personally and professionally.
3. You’re yearning for a career change
The benefits of postgraduate study extend far beyond securing your first dream job or ensuring you’re not passed over for that big promotion. Most postgraduate programmes have a strong emphasis on current, real-world applications of industry-relevant business insights and broader economic and social understandings – a highly valued skill set that will be especially advantageous in your pursuit of either a completely divergent career path unrelated to your current situation, or perhaps in fuelling your burning desire for professional autonomy through an entrepreneurial endeavour.
If you identify with any of the above professional advancement indicators, a postgraduate qualification could be the difference between carving out the successful career path you want for yourself and falling behind your competition.
UCT’s prestigious online postgraduate programmes now offer you the unique opportunity to retain full-time employment while advancing your career with a widely respected qualification – download the relevant information pack below:
The UCT Advanced Diploma in Business Project Management
The UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Marketing