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Will a Master’s help graduates get a job?

by Helen Donnelly August 31, 2011

A recent article in The Guardian has highlighted the fact that more and more graduates are taking on Master’s degrees in an attempt to stand out from the competition in a tough economic climate. But does this automatically make you more attractive to potential employers? What’s the value of a Master’s versus a 6 month internship in a relevant commercial field, for example?

Increasingly, candidates seem to be taking on Master’s because they often presume their only options are to take a gap year or work in a stop gap role, unrelated to their preferred career path, in order to ride out the recession. I think it’s wise to do your research before you commit to spending £8,000 on something that might not be quite right for you!  Here at FreshMinds Talent we have seen an increase in the number of graduate roles we are working on which is a positive sign that the graduate market is moving in the right direction. It could be that the perfect graduate role is out there for you – it just might take a bit of persistence to find it!
Similarly,  if your Master’s is an extension of your degree subject I think it’s important to think through what this will add to your skill set – if it’s ultimately a commercial role you are looking for is it wise to go down the academic route? Many companies offer short term internships which might be a useful way to gain valuable commercial exposure in your chosen field. The government are keen to offer graduates a way into industry – have a look at available graduate internships here:


If you are still wondering whether the Master’s route is the right one for you, join in the debate during The Guardian’s live webinar on the topic TODAY at 1pm. It features FreshMinds Talent’s very own MD James Callander who will be offering his thoughts on the graduate market and the value of further academic qualifications, alongside a panel of other industry experts.

Helen Donnelly is on the Graduate Recruitment team at FreshMinds Talent

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