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Career changers and further studies: What are the benefits of studying for a master’s?

Whether you’re inspired to change careers or are a student looking to further your education, studying for a master’s is an incredible way to boost your long-term job satisfaction. There are numerous reasons to study for a master’s, but the decision depends on each person’s individual needs and ambitions. If you are considering a master’s, here are some of the perks and possible outcomes.

By Elena Carruthers and Cara Fielder. Published 06 November 2023.


Increased earning potential

While studying for a master’s does come with a financial commitment (the exact amount depending on the course), it has been found to increase overall earning potential. The government’s 2022 graduate labour market statistics report found that 78.3% of working-age postgraduates were in high-skilled employment compared to 66.3% of graduates and 23.6% of non-graduates. Additionally, postgraduates were found to earn around £6,500 a year more on average than their graduate counterparts.

This means that generally, the long-term financial benefits outweigh the immediate cost. A master’s improves earning potential in a variety of ways such as giving you a competitive edge, showcasing your subject expertise, and generally conveying to employers that you have a high level of discipline and intelligence. As such, it opens up opportunities that may not have otherwise been possible.

Job satisfaction

Studying for a master’s allows you to explore a subject you are interested in and go on to apply this knowledge to a professional context. It goes without saying that doing something we enjoy is a plus, but job satisfaction is also more likely to lead to long-term success. Professionals who feel fulfilled in their work experience higher levels of motivation, overall happiness, and subsequently reach new highs in their career. With so many potential career paths out there, sometimes it takes a while to figure out the right one, which makes further study an effective way to explore a new path and make a change.

Networking opportunities

During your master’s course, you will meet new people who most likely share similar interests and ambitions to you. As well as having a positive impact on your social life, this can also be a valuable networking opportunity. In addition to this, studying for a master’s gives you the opportunity to gain tailored advice from our Employability Team, opening up the opportunity to gain work experience and prepare for other potential work opportunities.

Take your specialism to the next level

For non-law students choosing to pursue a master’s in broadly the same subject area as their undergraduate course provides an opportunity to solidify this knowledge and specialise in areas of interest. For example, business graduates may go on to study an MSc in Project Management, Business Analytics, Leadership, or Cyber Security and law graduates may go on to study an LLM in Family Law, International Human Rights, or Corporate Governance. There is an extensive range of master’s to choose from to build on your existing skillset and take it to the next level.

Become a career changer

For some, a master’s is an opportunity to start over and build an entirely new career path. Many people do not immediately walk into their dream career and decide after some time in the working world that they desire a change of direction. For example, somebody might find that their favourite part about work has been helping and understanding others, and later decide to undertake a Psychology Conversion. For those hoping to get into the lucrative world of tech, they might opt for a Computer Science Conversion. A master’s conversion course provides students with the same level of knowledge as an undergraduate degree in that subject but condensed into a year or two years if part-time.

A master’s is the ideal place to start a new career, building up your expertise in that area and providing the chance to explore new professional opportunities via the University’s Employability Service. For those who still do not have a specific career in mind, opting for a more general business course such as an MSc in Project Management or Strategic Business Management sets you up for a career in a range of corporate disciplines from HR and finance to business leadership or marketing. Alternatively, for those looking to keep their options open in law, your could opt for our Master of Law (General) or Master of Law (International).

Work/life balance

You may have heard the Mark Twain quote — 'Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.' That might well be an exaggeration, but your overall wellbeing will definitely improve in a role which you enjoy and feel fits your potential. Staying in a job you loathe can feel depressing and demoralising, instead, study a master’s to increase your chances of thriving in your dream career. 


Explore our range of postgraduate master’s courses in business or law and step into your future career path.