Postgraduate Program or Work Experience:  A dilemma of the future

Postgraduate Program or Work Experience: A dilemma of the future

To begin, undergraduate programs in universities today barely graze the surface of practical knowledge required for being proficient in the profession

To begin, undergraduate programs in universities today barely graze the surface of practical knowledge required for being proficient in the professional world. Further, this leads to a mediocre outlook toward the diffusion of innovation, which today’s workforce heavily depends on. Ultimately, students must make the difficult choice of diving into work directly or increasing their knowledge at the postgraduate level. However, many struggles with the same, weighing the benefits of work experience against the costs and likewise for master’s programs. Hence, here is a fundamental analysis of the two sides to enable a clear decision about the future. 


Apropos of postgraduate education, it keeps central the idea of furthering an academic career following the development of necessary skills. To explain, it serves as a vessel for expanding the theoretical knowledge learned previously in a fashion that sustains research and expertise alongside developing niches. While this is applicable for almost all master’s programs, it materializes as indispensable for certain fields yet optional for others. For instance, in undergraduate degrees having a broad scope such as Mass Communication and Commerce, the significance of undertaking a postgraduate degree increases. By all means, doing so outlines the career path that a student could choose and furnishes a well-defined proposal for the same. On the contrary, certain degrees provide a narrow horizon without leaving room for opportunities; hence a master’s is essential for greater professional development. Owing to the same, most people with the aforementioned types of degrees prefer opting for MBAs to open the door to different spectrums of work. 


Similarly, postgraduate degrees also appear as conversion courses to enable a student to switch their career path in case of skepticism or outright rejection of the undergraduate course. To elaborate, this level enables individuals to have a second chance in choosing their future and acts as a check on a person’s motivations about their career. Another viable reason for considering postgraduate education before working in a professional industry is to develop in-depth knowledge about certain areas. 


Additionally, learning specificities instills self-confidence and faith in the ability to make decisions and is later translated into personal development and an increase in professional qualifications. Last but not the least, a major reason for considering a master’s today is to increase job opportunities and boost earnings from various offers due to the credibility of said courses and the influence they have on certain positions in the workforce. 


However, about the cons of pursuing a postgraduate degree, a major reason why students opt out of them is the concern for lack of financial support and sustenance. In cases where students are in debt or not able to afford college further, work acts as an option to alleviate financial distress and allow independence. Another equally valid reason which causes people to shy away from undertaking a master’s program is essentially a lack of enthusiasm and the unrelenting demand for sacrifices at personal expense, which such degrees often warrant. 


Looking at the other side of the spectrum, work experience after an undergraduate degree certainly has benefits of its own. While a master’s usually permits only a theoretical application of the subjects involved in the professional industry, work institutes the building of desirable workplace skills. For example, participating in workplace discussions, pitches, formalized meetings, and other professional interactions subjects students to better their leadership, organization, and time management skills. Further, the same warrants holistic professional development in terms of expanding soft skills such as assertive communication. 


Likewise, such experiences provide a sampling of the practical world and test an individual’s spontaneity and endurance due to their dynamic nature. This occurs in stark contrast to postgraduate education where things unfold in a highly systematic and organized fashion with little scope to discover something unique. Moreover, such practical experiences bridge the gap between employer’s expectations and employee performance rather than standard learnings from a fundamental course. 


Another standard bonus of work is the possibility of quick financial earnings which allow individuals to have a better planned and less risky future owing to the accumulation of savings in the initial stages of professional life. Besides this, work also confers many opportunities for networking, which are a blessing in disguise as they help establish long-term connections that might be favorable in the future.  


Alongside the advantages of having work experience, it also presents itself with several challenges such as difficulty in acclimating to a professional environment. This can occur as a result of the obvious culture shock when shifting to the corporate world due to deviation from the standard process of learning, reproducing, and repeating that forms the cornerstone of the education system. Another minor setback is the unavoidable gap year that occurs when a work experience precedes postgraduate study. 


In essence, there are a lot of factors to be considered while planning your future in terms of academics or professional endeavors. However, the choice between postgraduate or work experience is a highly subjective and personalized discussion with each respective investment paying off the best interest given a particular course for the future.