How a postgraduate degree will put your CV at the top of the list

The workforce is changing and one way to stay ahead of the career curve is through further study. After the uncertainty of COVID, Victoria is now looking toward the future; there is potential everywhere.

Pre-pandemic, it was estimated that 85 per cent of job growth over five years would centre around health, professional, scientific and technical services, public administration, and education.

Closer to home, Professor Mark Farrell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law) and Dean of the Victoria University Business School, says Melbourne and Melbourne's west is bracing for a transport boom.

"The federal and state government are planning to invest over $100 billion in transport services and infrastructure projects over the next 20 years, with west Melbourne forecast to be the fastest-growing region in the country," he says. "We see a lot of opportunities… in transport systems."

One way to stand out in a competitive job environment is through further study. "People with postgraduate qualifications tend to have a career advantage over their non-postgraduate colleagues," he says. "Doors open to postgrads that were previously closed."

Postgraduate degrees can open a world of opportunities. Credit: Getty.

Postgraduate studies offer both personal and professional benefits. "When you undertake postgraduate studies, you are challenging yourself intellectually, but also developing a network of peers from which to interact, learn from and build a career network with."

For candidates with an eye on the emerging workforce, a postgraduate degree could put your CV at the top of the pile; you will be at the forefront of industry and developments, honing your skills and specialising in an area of interest. Additionally, "you're also able to develop soft skills in teamwork, develop and sharpen your critical analysis skills, and learn about the importance of ethics in industry and business."

Professional benefits

"Research shows postgraduates earn on average around 20 per cent minimum more than undergraduates,” Farrell says. But it's not just about salaries, with the degree allowing for more interesting work, business travel or overseas deployments.

A postgraduate degree "demonstrates you have the knowledge, skills and experience required for the job, along with the latest thinking and practice in the industry." It can also fill "gaps" in CVs due to redundancy and providing more job opportunities and higher income potential.

Research shows postgraduates earn around 20 per cent more than undergraduates. Credit:Getty.

"It signals to employers that you've taken the time to invest in updating your knowledge and skills, and to equip yourself with the latest thinking concerning trends and practicalities in the industry you're aspiring to work in," he adds. "Many postgraduate students are working full-time and commit to studying part-time.” The ability to juggle competing demands demonstrates determination and agility, an asset for any employer.

Emerging occupations and industries

The National Skills Commission identifies 25 emerging occupations, including clusters in data analytics, online engagement, and sustainability.

"There's going to be lots of jobs and courses in data analysts, artificial intelligence, blockchain," says Farrell. Business courses, education, IT and engineering will all help individuals enter occupations forecast for growth.

Planetary health and “destination-tourism” are also emerging sectors, with courses already underway, such as a Master of Tourism and Destination Management and Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health. One in 13 Australian jobs rely on tourism and hospitality, but there is a shortage in employees with senior management skills.

Along with the industries highlighted above, health, aged and disability care will continue to be the largest employing industry across the country, along with construction, education and training, and manufacturing.

Health, aged and disability care will continue to be the largest employing industry across the country. Credit: Getty.

Education is currently Victoria's third-biggest employment sector, but it's an ageing workforce, presenting many opportunities for future graduates.

Can a postgrad help you?

"When students ask me if they should do a postgrad, I say: 'In two or three years from now, you either will, or you won't have that qualification. I guarantee you those that do qualify will be so happy, because their career opportunities will be greater," says Farrell.

While postgrad study requires a time commitment, Victoria University has many flexible options. You could start at a Grad Certificate and then choose to progress to a Masters. Or you could even begin with a single unit of study or short course.

Take the first step to a successful future, with a postgraduate degree through Victoria University.

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