How do you know if postgraduate study is for you? To meet the needs of the future job market, having a Masters degree in a next-gen tech field is a seriously smart career move
Already have an awesome STEM role? Keen to shake up your CV? Still stumped on what’s next after uni? Whether you’re a fresh grad tackling your first gig or well into your career pathway, there are loads of reasons to get your study back on.
And with universities like QUT offering a lengthy list of postgraduate courses in almost every tech field imaginable, chances are you’ll find something that fits.
1. You want to land a job straight out of uni
It’s no secret that employers are crying out for STEM grads fluent in code, innovation and IT. But tech grads that have done postgraduate study? They’re even more likely to land a gig, with 80-90% employed within four months of finishing uni.
QUT grad and software engineer Alice (Huynh Ngoc Tram) Nguyen, is one of them. Before she’d even finished her Master of Information Technology, the data science major received a permanent job offer in her chosen field – and that’s without even applying.
Now, she works as a machine learning engineer for next-gen mining company, GroundProbe.
“Along with loads of real-world study, joining and contributing to student clubs helped me boost my interpersonal skills and enhance my network with industry experts,” she explains. “I got full-time job offers through those networks before my graduation. Experts seem to have great consideration for QUT students!”
2. You’re keen to upskill
If you’ve already got a great job in tech but are keen to land an even better one, up-skilling is a great reason to dive into more study. But before committing to a particular path, ask around and check industry demand. What is it that your current employer values and wants? IT skills? Data smarts? Business know-how?
Picking a uni that promotes work flexibility is key too – particularly if you’re keen to work while studying. “QUT offers a really flexible environment where you can choose units that you like, and can study from anywhere at any time,” says Alice. “For me that was important as it allowed me to make my own progress in accordance with my career plan.”
3. You want to totally change your pathway
A postgraduate degree in anything tech-related will set you up for ultimate career adaptability – and nope it’s never too late! According to the National Skills Commission, by May 2024, employment in STEM occupations in Australia will grow by 11.7% (or 301,500 people), compared to 7.5% for non-STEM jobs.
Even if your undergraduate degree was less STEM-heavy, a higher degree is a great opportunity to future proof your career – and even steer it in a completely new direction.
4. You want to land a unique role that doesn’t exist… yet
STEM jobs are changing all of the time, and some of the biggest areas of innovation are where STEM careers intersect with other sectors.
Postgraduate study is the perfect opportunity to add STEM to ‘X’ – where X is the area you are most interested in, your passion, goal, or another field.
“Above all, choose a course which suits your career interest,” stresses Alice. “If you are unsure about the courses, there are loads of staff which can give you advice!”
Sold on a postgraduate study path? Applications for QUT’s mid-year entry are open now and close on 30 June.
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Author: Cassie Steel
As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.