Getting into a postgraduate degree when you’re older can be a great idea. You’ve got more experience under your belt, more focus, determination, a higher standard of skill. You name it. With families, kids and obligations, it can seem quite daunting to even consider, but it can pay dividends. In this article, we’ll cover just a few reasons for considering postgrad later in life and how you can make it happen.
We’ve covered this somewhat in our article for fresh undergrads on a similar topic and definitely think the graduate outcomes section is applicable here too. If you don’t feel like jumping off to another article, here’s the gist: According to 2018 QILT longitudinal graduate outcomes survey results, all universities around Australia achieved at least 85% full-time employment for their coursework postgraduates three years after graduation, with some of the big players like USYD hitting 95.7%, University of Notre Dame Australia 97.2% and the University of Melbourne 94.7%. Coursework graduates from the likes of CQU for example were earning $108,000 p/a three years out. In general, postgrads by coursework make $20,000 more on average each year than those with solely undergrad qualifications(p8), with 17.4% of employed postgraduates being employed as managers compared to 9.3% for undergrads (p58-59). So it’s not a bad way of moving up the corporate ladder if you pick something related to your career. Even if you’re interested in doing a completely unrelated research degree, it can still have career benefits either for a pivot or in your current position.
While there’s something to be said for rolling straight into postgrad from your bachelor’s, coming from a career has its perks too. Having worked full time has likely given you a greater appreciation for education. A different QILT survey, the 2018 student experience survey, found those aged forty and above who did postgraduate coursework programs had an overall more positive experience back at uni than their younger peers. The survey considered learner engagement, skills development, satisfaction with teaching quality, student support and learning resources. While learner engagement tends to decrease with age, other indicators remain or increase. This is quite surprising considering all the extra commitments 40+ students tend to have over those under 24 or in other brackets. If you can buck the trend and keep yourself engaged, you’re likely to find all other elements of your education satisfying and rewarding.
It’s possible to do postgrad study part-time while you work and also receive highly quality support through the use of sophisticated content management systems, online support services, regular video chats with peers, collaborative wikis and more. Some consider online education to even be better than offline, as the level of attention you get from dedicated online support staff is exemplary.
So why not give postgrad a look? It can help both your career and personal development. If you end up not wanting to, that’s fine too; at least you’ll be aware of what’s available. If you do however decide to take the plunge, we’ll be right there with you!