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Postgraduate Degrees : What are They?

written by: vishalseafarer•edited by: SForsyth•updated: 5/30/2010

A general overview of postgraduate degrees giving a basic overview of who can pursue them and what are the basic requirements as well as explaining the ups and downs of pursuing graduate degrees.

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    Postgraduate Degree: A Gateway to a Better Future

    What are Postgraduate Degrees: Postgraduate education, in the majority of countries (there are some exceptions like Germany), is pursued after a bachelor's degree which is usually four years (depending on the country). They are advanced level of studies that an individual has completed in his bachelor's degree and they are divided into many branches so that the individual can concentrate or focus on his area of interest. For example, if an individual has completed his bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering, he can pursue his master's degree in Aerospace Engineering or Aerodynamics Engineering or Fluid Technology... and the list goes on. Postgraduate studies is generally one field that has been learnt by the student in his undergraduate studies, and is being concentrated on in the postgraduate studies for which he will be awarded a postgraduate degree. Thus the student or the individual can carry out research or obtain knowledge in their interested area of specialisation or pursue his career in it.

    Requirements for a Postgraduate Degree: Depending on the country, the requirements for getting an admission in a university or a college, to purse postgraduate education, may vary. Some may require the grades or marks or CGPA or GPA (as per the country) obtained in their bachelor's degree. Whereas some other universities require the individual to have a threshold score in exams set by the university itself or some tests approved by many universities across the world such as TOEFL, GRE, IELTS and so on.

    Next Steps: What An Individual Has to Do Once He Gets Accepted.

    Once an admission has been obtained , the person has to look at applying for internships and research and consider other facilities offered by the university. He has to be aware of the grading system and also the rules and regulations of the university. Orientations can be attended that give the student a better idea of the college and the course .

    Aspects that Students Should Watch-Out for Before and During Their Postgraduate Degree:

    Students should try to gather more information on the university they are applying for. Attributes such as the fee structure, the dorm or hostel life (for students who stay on campus), other extra curricular activities offered by the university, placements, and so on should be checked out so that the students get a better idea of his/her life during the postgraduate studies.

    Spending money should be kept in check as some students who are not financially fit might end up running out of money very soon. This generally happens when students migrate from one country to another to pursue postgraduate studies and they are excited by the life there and before long they end up pemiless. Thus the individual has to keep in check his spending habits and look for part time jobs that might give him the little extra money that he needs.

    Postgraduate Studies in Other Countries:

    If an individual has to apply for postgraduate studies in other countries, he has to start shortlisting the universities and have a good knowledge of what their admission requirements are, their fee structure, programmes offered and so on. All this has to be done or started at least ten months prior the admission date. Also he has to check if he has to take any other exams that are required by the college. Applications have to be requested or online applications can be filled too, if the college offers them.

    How Postgraduate Degrees are Different from Undergraduate Degrees:

    Postgraduate degrees are usually pursued so that the individual has a better understanding of his area of interest and can proceed further as per his wishes. In the majority of the cases, postgraduate studies are around two years and usually this depends on the course that the individual chooses. Unlike undergraduate studies, they focus on one area of specialisation and have more of practical work and projects (again depending on the university the student has taken admission in) and a great deal of understanding of the subject is required. by the completion of the postgraduate studies, the university expects the student to have a thorough knowledge of the subject and that he should be able to carry out any research or project on his own.

    Life After A Postgraduate Degree:

    Postgraduate studies are generally pursued by students who are interested in research or those who want to better their career prospects. Doctorate studies like Ph.D (Doctorate of Philosophy) can be pursued after a postgraduate degree. Attaining a Postgraduate degree may result in higher salaries and the job prospects may increase as they have an advantage when applying for jobs.