What to consider when choosing the best postgraduate degree for you

A postgraduate qualification can help you deepen or broaden your skillset, and advance your career to the next level. Perhaps you have your sights set on a promotion, increasing your knowledge and skills, or standing out from the crowd in a competitive industry.

However, like most things in life, not all postgraduate qualifications are created equal. If you’re currently comparing courses, you’ll realise the importance of choosing one that aligns with both your career goals and your lifestyle preferences.

So what do the best postgraduate degrees have in common? If you’re looking to choose a masters degree, a graduate diploma or a graduate certificate, here’s what you should consider first.

A practical approach

Theory is an important part of any postgraduate degree, but it’s just the beginning. You also need a practical element that provides hands-on learning opportunities that are meaningful to your industry.

Knowledge and skills are far more valuable after they’ve been applied in a practical way, explains Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at Deakin. ‘Firstly, because you as a learner understand it a whole lot better, and secondly, you’re more able to problem solve in an unknown work context.’

‘Wherever you go after university will be new and different, so practicing that application in real-world contexts and unpacking and understanding them, will give you an edge when you go into your next job, and the one after that, and so on.’

Deakin offers students this practicality in a variety of ways:

  • working with industries to ensure each course helps students to graduate job-ready, whether it’s for your first professional job or a promotion
  • learning from Deakin academics with practical, real-world experience - who are active participants in industry and thought leaders in their fields
  • the ability to connect with experts, industry contacts and a network of peers who will become valuable professional connections.

Relevance to future work is a major priority for Deakin when building and delivering courses, explains Prof. Johnson. ‘For us, the success of our graduates is really important, so a student’s future career is a prime motivator for us. We work with industry to ensure students are as employment-ready as possible – and there’s a huge payoff for students in doing that.’

Flexible study options

It’s likely that you already have a lot going on in your life, and you need your postgraduate studies to fit around your other commitments.

You’re certainly not alone. With 87% of Deakin graduates continuing to work while studying, it’s important that flexibility is part of the course you choose. The best postgraduate degrees offer a high level of flexibility. That way, you can continue your career, keep up with family commitments and enjoy other interests while completing your postgraduate degree.

Plus, if you’re considering studying online, it’s important to choose a degree that gives you the flexibility you need to fit study into your life, while still providing a world-class, high-quality education.

Online study at Deakin’s Cloud Campus means you can access all this and more. Participate in classes, study around your own schedule and access resources – wherever and whenever it suits you. So, while online study is traditionally an isolated task, Cloud Campus makes it a collaborative experience filled with support and encouragement.

This is on offer for masters programs, as well as graduate certificates and graduate diplomas – whichever level of postgraduate study suits your goals and fits into your life.

The support to make it work

Postgraduate study might sound like a solo activity, but it’s actually a team effort.

Surrounding yourself with a great support team gives you the chance to succeed at your studies, especially in challenging times. That support team might include mentors, classmates, family and friends, and your employer.

You can ask your employer to support you in a number of ways. They might be able to help you financially, provide access to information to help your studies, or offer flexible working hours. An understanding employer can make a big difference to your success in studying.

You also need a supportive university that understands how tough it can be to reach your goals. That’s why Deakin offers in-person and online support, so you can:

With so much wonderful support on hand, there’s no doubt that your postgraduate studies can be a great experience, helping you dive deep into a speciality field and taking your career to new heights.

Take a look through Deakin’s range of postgraduate courses to help you stand out from the crowd in your industry.