Explore Pathways: Postgraduate Degree Options
Picking a career is never an easy choice. It is common to start in one role and decide it’s not for you, regardless of what you might have studied at university.
The good news is that there are heaps of careers out there to choose from, so if what you’ve chosen doesn’t suit you, it really isn’t the end of the world.
One option for people who are still unsure about what they want to do is to continue to further education. This allows you to study while you keep your options open regarding jobs.
There are many postgraduate degrees out there, but a core few have particularly transferrable skills which can be used across a wide range of careers.
Below we highlight some of the degrees which offer truly transferrable skills and which are sought after by employers.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Perhaps the classic example of a master’s degree that looks at the bigger picture, rather than becoming too specialised, is the Master’s of Business Administration (or MBA).
An MBA can fast-track someone’s way through private sector firms into management roles through the application of business techniques and management principles that are hard to learn over time on the job.
Many industries – and even the public sector – are keen on MBAs as these kinds of post-graduates offer skills that a normal undergraduate won’t have developed. There’s scope to work in anything from tech to agriculture and apply the knowledge of the course in many different ways.
An MBA can help you to understand sustainable and effective business and leadership strategies, for small to medium and large enterprises. It will give you skills that have potential applications almost anywhere.
Also consider: Strategic Management and Leadership, Project Management
Accounting and Finance
Perhaps more specialised than an MBA, a postgraduate degree in accounting and finance focuses on the numbers of a business.
That being said, if you’ve got an aptitude for maths and cost management this could be ideal, as like an MBA you can apply the skills learned to a plethora of industries or public sector areas.
There is no question that all businesses need accountants and financial controllers that understand the nuts and bolts of the financial side of any organisation, so this degree can be a great fast track into those types of roles.
Also consider: Economics, Professional Accounting, Human Resource Management
While on the surface it might seem quite a specific course to undertake, an academically focused subject like History will show prospective employers you have a particular set of transferable skills.
These include skills like source analysis, project management, debate and research. These types of skill sets are invaluable to prospective employers as they demonstrate the ability to perform critical tasks and that you can adapt to different subject matter more broadly.
History is also a good choice because it is a broad discipline. You could be studying anything from the internecine conflicts of the Carthaginians and Romans to post-colonial development and international relations. The choices are vast.
Also consider: English, Language and Literature, Classics
Sociology is the study of the systematic and changing nature of the world we live in. Like history, sociology courses will help you develop research and analytical skills that will be useful in a professional setting.
While you’ll likely need an undergraduate degree in a related social science setting, Sociology is a discipline that can help you understand social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behaviour.
A wide range of businesses – the public sector included – would benefit from postgraduates that understand the structure of groups, organisations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts, to develop more effective products and services.
Also consider: Anthropology, Ethics
The above gives a flavour of what some of these courses entail, but ultimately the key to a good education that translates into a lot of fields is the ability to demonstrate you can take on complex subjects, and perform successful work projects that can be applied in a wide field.