Postgraduate Studies: Why you should go for it…

…by Stephen / from Nigeria / Master of Public Health (online) / 1st year

I recently viewed Marvel’s Avengers Endgame for the umpteenth time and like most comic fanatics was thrilled with the time-travel elements that was embedded in the final series of a truly satisfying movie series. But unlike anyone… I also unconsciously linked this to my journey into PG studies. For those who have not watched this movie yet, a quick extraction without spoiling it is necessary. Basically, there were some elements of time-travel that did not alter the future but rather opened more possibilities for a favourable ending. And that is how I will to approach postgraduate studies or rather add to reasons one should go for a PG. Let us look at this process as not only as specialising in something but also as changing or broadening one’s field of expertise. The journey of a pre-PG student is very, and I emphasis on this, demanding and people often don’t see the benefits unless they are compelled to by external factors. Nevertheless, the process is quite easy and I am going ease your minds with why you should go for it and what do to?

Why I should go for it?

Well, there is really no concrete reason or stance to this question but basically, everyone needs an additive to their main field. Based on my experience, these are the most important general reasons:

– PG is like the icing on a cake: Most of us have people around us that have that one extra degree or diploma that helps them in their work. It’s amazing how much a PG degree can boost ones financial purse. It’s always more favourable and it’s usually the key factor in job applications.

– PG is like a fork in the road: Postgraduate studies are designed to broaden one’s options. No matter what your passion is, there are always limitations. It is very hard to do something in today’s world when it isn’t your area of choice. And it’s much harder to be viewed as credible. PG studying is the bridge that makes life interdisciplinary.

– PG is not all about academia: this is a common misconception for most. You only go through the PG process if you’re eyeing an academic career. Contrary to this, about two-thirds of all aspiring PGers either want to specialise or broaden their career paths.

What to do?

– Don’t rush. Don’t Panic. Don’t worry. If you want to do a PG course. Start with the basics.

– Money should not be the deciding factor: Funding should be the last thing on your mind. As I’ve been constantly reminded, there will always be funding route. Most courses have scholarships, most universities have scholarships, research councils have grants, most countries have studentships.

– Be open-minded: There will always be the option to change or modify in the process and even when you start without complex process.

– Broaden your options based on where you feel you will get the best from what is around. Yes, distance and culture differences are important. But please be aware that you want to get this from this.

All in all, there are many aspects to starting a PG, but understanding that it not only adds to what you have, it can also give a new route (time travel) should be at the back of your head when you want to start. I wish you the best of luck.

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