Your uni experience isn’t complete without a Master’s degree
Unless you’re in the A team you can do better than a BA
There’s a few unwritten rules about University; your first year means nothing, you’ll eventually do all the things you said you never would and you’ll be weighing up doing a Master’s by January in your final year. That desire to put off the real world for another year in order to study is one of those gut urges you often get at Uni that you will regret not following, like 2-4-1 Jägerbombs or holding a house party.
You’ll be more skilled than anyone else
There’s no guarantee that the addition of an MA or an MSc to your CV will land you a plush job, even if the Sutton Trust claim a postgraduate degree will add £200,000 to your lifetime salary. However the extra skills you learn in the process will enhance your appeal in a crowded workplace. The ability to show more advanced academic thinking, demonstrate a greater depth in research skills and think independently is something that employers want. When it comes to interviews it’s easier to set yourself apart when you have proof of your attributes as opposed to trying to claim that playing intramural football taught you teamwork.
It will challenge you more than an undergrad
The work isn’t easy. It’s a far greater leap than the one you had between school and Uni. However if you’re motivated to work and passionate about that field then it is easy. You’ll spend a lot more time studying but you’ll get an appreciation of your subject and the importance of hard work. You’ll also realise just how stupid it sounded when you used to moan about having to do a 2,000 word essay or read an entire book for the next week.
If you’re one of those people that knows exactly where you want to go in life than a Master’s degree can set you apart by allowing you to specialise in an exact area within your particular area of interest. If you decide halfway through third year that you should have done economics and not history then it’s also a chance to change direction and switch subjects.
Even if you’re not 100 per cent sure of what you want to do, it gives you a chance to stay in education, develop more skills and focus on deciding where you want to go next.
It’s far more interesting studying what you want
Most importantly it is a lot more fun than your first degree. You have all the benefits of student life like cheap booze, BUCS sport and a discount at ASOS but you’ll actually be studying something that really interests you. You won’t be wasting your time, sat in near empty lecture halls, pretending to watch slides about for a module that you only did because your mate wanted to.
You’ll still go out and it won’t be nearly as bad
Sure, the nights out are different. You won’t be waking up every afternoon with the kind of hangover than only strawpedoing bottles of VK and slamming tequila can give. You may not go out as frequently but you’ll be more selective and have nights that are actually memorable. It’s remarkable how much better a night is when you don’t have the taste of vinegar in your mouth after Sainsbury’s basics cider at pre drinks. You’ll also be shocked at how much better you’ll feel when you only go out fortnightly after you’ve spent the last three years drinking at pace that would make George Best blush.
Do what you went when you want
After spending the year walking around campus, a law unto oneself, studying when you want, what you want, you will be finally ready to enter the workplace, in a far better position than you were 12 months earlier. You will now know more than the bare minimum to pass, you’ll be an expert in your field. You’ll also have developed key skills that will push you ahead. You can research beyond Wikipedia and whichever library books hadn’t already been loaned by the people who didn’t leave it until the night before. You’ll have improved your presentation skills and will now be able to speak confidently in public without Dutch courage. You’ll also have discovered more about yourself than a gap year taking selfies in Thailand could ever teach you.
Just as second year was better than first, and third better than second, your Master’s will be even better. So put the grad scheme applications to one side and apply for a Master’s, it’s time to finally do Uni properly.