You’ve just graduated and now the big question is: should you go straight into postgrad or full-time work? Returning to immediate study may not be for everyone, but here’s why it can pay off.
1. You’re still in study mode
After several years of tertiary education, you’re a pro when it comes to going to lectures, note-taking, referencing and writing essays in a style that will earn you top points. You already know where all the lecture theatres and key academic offices are, you know your way around the library and where to find the best coffee on campus. You’re in prime position to start postgrad and hit the ground running, rather than go through that newbie feeling again.
2. You’re used to living with a tight budget
As a new graduate, you’re used to living economically and balancing study and part-time work. You (probably) don’t have expensive commitments like kids or a mortgage yet, so you’re still able to get by comfortably on a shoe-string budget. Once we’re in full-time employment, we’re earning more and generally spending more (A startling one in two working Australians live paycheck to paycheck). It can be easy to get used to this new-found comfortable lifestyle, and the idea of going back to a frugal student life can be a deterrent to returning to study even if you know it’ll pay off in the long run.
If your goal is to go back to study to specialise in an area and advance your career, getting used to the high-life can make returning to a less flush existence a deterrence.
3. You know what you want
So you want do your to do your Juris Doctor to become a lawyer or study postgrad Psychology to become a psychologist – why wait? If you don’t yet have the qualifications to start working in your chosen field, you might find taking a break to work full-time in another field to be unfulfilling work.
There’s little point getting an office job that will simply delay you from going after what you actually want to be doing. Follow your passion and invest in yourself by working towards the job you really want.
4. You can gain real-world experience while studying
Many La Trobe students balance full-time postgrad study with part-time work or volunteering in their chosen field, so that when they finish they’re ahead of the pack. At the same time, many postgrad courses include placements, internships and guest industry-leading lecturers so that you’re gaining relevant experience and networks within your chosen field while studying.
This is one of the overarching reasons why postgrad is so valuable – aside from further developing your specialised skills and knowledge. It puts you in a better position to gain a better job.
5. You’re in a better place to get extra help
As a new graduate, you’re likely to be in an economic situation where you’re unable to finance your study – so you’re in a good place to apply for a scholarship. You also have a good body of academic records to demonstrate you’re an outstanding student, and therefore an ideal scholarship candidate.
Importantly, you’re probably in a better place to be aware of what scholarships are available to postgrads, given that you’re in the university and surrounded by peers. You’re likely too, to be aware that as a La Trobe graduate, you might be eligible for a 10 per cent fee reduction in your postgrad course.
Whatever you decide to do post graduation, it pays to consider your options and weigh up what will work best for you and get you where you want to be.
Thinking about taking the plunge? Discuss your options with one of our career advisors.