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Your Masters, what next?

A Masters course can help you gain access to a different career path and make you a specialist in your field. Discover what it can lead to…

What job can I get with a Masters?

Many skills gained from a Masters degree can be applied to lots of jobs but some occupations require a specific postgraduate qualification. For example, to become a solicitor you need to do the Legal Practice Course (LPC) while a Master of Engineering (MEng) will be highly valued for a job as a chartered engineer.

The most common jobs held by recent Masters graduates include:

To find out more about the jobs related to your degree, take a look at types of jobs. Using a career-planning tool such as what jobs would suit me? can also help you to find a career that matches your skills and interests.

Where are jobs for Masters graduates advertised?

Generally, employers do not have separate recruitment practices for undergraduate and postgraduate students. As a result, Masters graduates can look for jobs in the same places as those with a first degree:

  • online job boards;
  • newspapers;
  • trade publications;
  • through speculative applications.

Get advice and help with finding job vacancies.

You should start by searching graduate jobs and signing up for job alerts to get relevant jobs straight to your inbox.

How do I sell my Masters degree to employers?

Employers don't always distinguish between a Masters and Bachelors degree when recruiting. They may value the additional maturity, but it is up to you to explain in your covering letter what skills and knowledge you have gained through this higher qualification.

Present yourself in terms of the extra abilities you have and how this relates to your career goals. For ideas of the subject-specific and general skills you may have gained during your studies see what can I do with my degree?

A Masters also needs to be complemented by relevant work experience, so don't pass on the chance to mention any details of this.

To help sell your qualification to employers see our cover letter written by a Masters graduate.

Should I do a PhD?

A PhD is a long and difficult process that can take a number of years to complete. It can be life changing, time consuming and shouldn't be considered lightly.

A research Masters is often seen as the precursor to a PhD. Almost 45% of graduates who do a Masters in research go on to do some form of further study, either full or part time or working while studying. Of those people, the majority do a PhD.

Many students choose to do a PhD to gain the relevant qualification to become an academic or an industry researcher. However, there are very few other jobs that demand a PhD. Find out more about what's involved in a PhD.

What do other Masters graduates do?

Of the 42,328 Masters graduates who finished their courses in 2014, more than 80% were in full or part-time work or working and studying six months after graduation. Of those who were in a job in the UK, 87% were doing a professional or managerial job.

Destinations of Masters graduates
Destinations Percentage
Employed 77.2%
Further study 8.5%
Working and studying 4.5%
Unemployed 5.3%
Other 4.5%
Types of work entered in the UK
Education professionals  13.8%
Business, HR and financial 12.6%
Health professionals 9.7%
Managers 9.3%
Other 54.6%

Postgraduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
September 2015

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