Sunday 8 July 2012

Does A Master Degree Make You Stand Out?

After getting your A levels, you have probably headed straight to university, where you have spent a number of years mulling over the library and sulking around the canteen till one day you open your eyes and can’t believe it – it’s Graduation Day!

After all the wonderful celebrations come to an end, (and all the money gifts from family members are spent), the question starts gliding itself seductively and sits idly on the outer left ear lobe, asking us: ‘Well done Jimmy: What are you going to do next?

Some graduates might decide to take on a gap year, and either travel or try out different jobs in order to find the career they would really like to settle in. Employers are taking note of graduates that have completed postgraduate qualifications and taking on internships to up the ante. Currently many graduates are taking on internships to improve their employability skills and gain valuable work experience that employers look for, as competition for jobs is high. Interested in an Internship?

Others however prefer to continue with their studies for another year or two (or maybe three), as they feel that their first degree which they have duly earned is simply not sufficient.

It is often misleading that the value of a master increases a graduate’s chances of obtaining a higher paid graduate job. Many job openings specify the need to be educated to degree level, and the expense and time out of the workplace of obtaining a master degree can be a risky option if they are hoping to recover the cost through potential salary. Although it is essentially an added benefit to both the employer and employee, it is not something that is recognised as a way of increasing remuneration.

I would like to conclude with two graduates' insights on the value of a master’s degree, and whether this helps in making the graduate stand out in a competitive market in the EU. A 27-year-old Italian master graduate in Economics and Finance, Giorgio Manca states:

Having a master degree can make you stand out, but at the same time, there are other factors that are equally important. You should get this certificate when you are still young, because we know that businesses prefer hiring young people, or if you are not so young you should have previous work experiences.

From my experience I can state that a master degree is more difficult than a simple degree and provides you with a really good preparation, but unfortunately, for different reasons (crisis, double crisis and so on) the Italian labour market is stuck. For these reasons it is important to speak good English, as this is the key that can give you the possibility to dodge the crisis the plague your country and to get a good job in some countries abroad where there are opportunities to exploit. Certainly, for many different reasons master degrees should be in English all over the European Union. I can support this opinion with two main considerations:

1) The context of the labour market is becoming more and more international and for certain jobs English is of paramount importance. We must be able to explain our technical knowledge also in English.

2) When the market in your native countries is in a crisis you can take into account the possibility to relocate, otherwise it is impossible.

This is not to say, of course, that employers disregard a master degree. On the whole, employers who recruit master’s holders tend to like their analytical and problem solving skills, subjective specific knowledge, technical skills, and their innovative attitudes towards new ideas. This is why you should ideally weigh all the different options and keep an open eye and mind on what is happening around you.

Ms Galea, a local secondary school teacher who is considering of doing a master degree in the near future, says:

The common trend (at least in Malta) is that a number of employers in the commerce business / IT business / legal positions ask for relevant degrees AND experience. Therefore having a degree is not enough at times since employers look for experience AND the necessary qualification. This does not apply to every job - most posts in teaching require the necessary qualification yet do not ask for experience.

I believe that the scenario changes in a tough market. A tough market brings about competition so I believe that the candidates in possession of a Master's degree AND experience will have a better standing at being chosen. Having said that, in a tough market employers need people who can get the work done; therefore experience and a first degree might at times over-rule a master's degree. So I believe that the candidate who is well-qualified and has experience has the upper-hand in a tough market.

What do you think? Muovo would like to hear from you!

Related articles from this blog:
The Graduate Guide To Getting That Job
Values of University Degrees - What Do Maltese Students Think?

Nikita Pisani at Muovo


Masters degree is very important in the modern age, it has many benefits for students, serious employer needs employees who have the best sills for particular profession about dissertation help reviews, master degree enhances employ ability for students, master degree students are honorable persons of the society.

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