Today I wanted to do a bit of a what are the options post undergraduate, before I have to go and make some chicken spring rolls and pakoras. (Yes I know I made lamb samosas yesterday but they were so good I’ve been summoned for round two which I don’t mind). So what are the options?
Well if you’re like me and have graduated from an undergraduate then I see three main options: further study, a gap year or starting a job. For today’s post I’ll focus on further study in the UK and the reasons why or why not this is a good idea.
First off there’s a masters. As my personal tutor told me there is no harm in doing a masters and he’s right to some extent there really isn’t. If anything, it shows future employers that you have an interest in a selected area and want to stay on an extra year to learn more about it. In addition, masters is a good filler to do if you’re unsure on what you want to do as a career. It gives you time (a whole year) to think about what you could see yourself going into and is more relaxed than the undergraduate so there is time to breathe and stop and smell the roses.
However, a masters can be in excess of £10 000 for some courses and if you’re not made out of money this isn’t really feasible. Student loans can give a loan of up to £10 000 which can cover tuition cost but then there is accommodation costs and living costs (you do need to eat). If you think this may be the direction for you I would suggest getting a job over summer and saving the money for accommodation or doing a masters back at home. Also, please note doing a masters won’t be the same as an undergrad, you won’t be with your previous course mates (this may be advantageous? for me I would be mourning not seeing my coursemates in lectures) and if you move to a different uni there’s a whole new campus to explore. But then again, you would be leaving with another set of letters after your name but also more money put into education which you wont be able to get back. By that I mean, I could go onto a job straight away and doing a masters wouldn’t make much of a difference, therefore I would just be spending money on a masters purely for the ‘knowledge’ which is great and all but money makes the world go round.
Now masters differ in structure, there are taught masters, research masters or a mix of both. Before deciding on one make sure to check it is right for you. For example if you hated writing a 10 000 word dissertation then maybe don’t do one which needs another thesis.
Another type of masters is a more vocational one, where you can do a ‘conversion’ year and go into a profession such as law, accountancy, engineering or teaching. Now there are fees again with these but they lead you to a job which then would pay back the costs. I hope that makes sense. Also, you could find companies which would sponsor you masters or find a government grant. I know teaching has many grants and I’ll do a separate post on that.
Now if you want to go into further education and gain more knowledge considered a phd? Unlike masters, paid phd’s cover your tuition fees and you get to focus on an area you love for three years. Now if you love academia then this may be the way for you. To be honest, if you want to get the ‘Dr’ title without doing medicine then this is the way to do that but remember it isn’t easy and will require time and effort just like your undergrad. Now you could apply for a post graduate course like dentistry or medicine and use this year as a way to save up money whilst you apply as the next UCAS round is in October. Of course if you’re thinking of this option you need to be committed to another 4 years of study but I’m sure if you’re considering this you’re pretty committed anyway.
There’s a few suggestions, for me personally, I don’t want to pay for more education unless it gives me a return, therefore, If I go towards more education it will be something that leads me directly into a job. By that I mean, the further education is in a field where there are plenty of jobs available.
Here’s a few helpful sites if you’re interested in this route:
There’s a quick overview of further study in the UK.
If you came for a look at what I was doing with my day, I’ll give you a quick update on me. Today once again I’m sitting outside trying to get a tan but for my skin wont comply so I look the same. My mom thinks I’m crazy because I have fluffy winter socks on but I have cold feet, which is funny considering I have cold feet about any decisions regarding my future. I’m going to do some cooking in a sec because I still have 7hrs until my fast breaks and when I’m done I’ll take some pics to add in so you can see, because if all else fails I can start selling samosas and this would be a great way to market? Apart from that I have some ideas of what I want to do but I wanted to give some actual help before, yet again I talked about me. But here we are back to me. If you guys want less personal then just let me know, I’ll have to find another way to deal with my dilemmas.
Until tomorrow, I hope that was useful.