Women are enrolling in tertiary studies at a faster rate than men but one of the biggest challenges they face is keeping their educational qualifications up to date later in life.
Time pressures and career breaks to have family as well as the cost of postgraduate courses are just some of the big reasons that women stop studying beyond their first undergraduate degree.
There is also a school of thought that real-life experience matters more than formal education.
But continuing with higher education doesn’t necessarily mean studying on campus for another degree; it means finding a program that suits your lifestyle and importantly will advance your career.
The thing is that pursuing higher education does pay off. According to The Good Universities Guide, average salary jumps about 50 per cent up when you go from undergraduate bachelor degree to a postgraduate degree. Your ability to find a full-time opportunity also improves dramatically.
The globalisation of economy has opened up once-unavailable access to opportunities within and outside of Australia; on the flip side, however, it also has given employers access to a wider pool of candidates, making the workforce market more competitive. So the more specialised and armed with knowledge you can be, the better you can stand out.
So let’s go over how you can how to choose the best path forward in the new age of higher education.
MBA or another field?
A common misconception is that you have very limited options when considering postgraduate programs. Many believe that they could only apply for MBA or for masters in a field they studied during their undergrad.
MBA, Masters in Business Administration, is a good way to reset your career. Regardless of which industry or field you are coming from, it gives you an opportunity to redirect your career in any new direction.
But an MBA is no longer one of the only attractive programs for those trying to beef up their resumes or make significant career changes. You can get a masters in engineering or law or even project management regardless of the trajectory of your career path up to now.
Degree or certificate?
As mentioned, higher education is no longer about the title of your degree or certificate anymore. Employers care about the fact that you have obtained a new skill and have continuously pursued continuous learning throughout your life.
That said, deciding between the type of enrolment could be tricky.
Here’s a quick tip: If you want to enter a new field but your previous background is not very relevant to the new direction, you may want to go for the more in-depth masters degree; if you already are on the career path of your choice but want to further improve your knowledge to become more effective, then a certificate program might do.
In today’s decentralised environment, you can easily find a program that could accommodate not just your career goals but your schedule, budget, and preferences.
There are well-designed online postgraduate courses in Australia that are more affordable and flexible in terms of how you design your syllabus roadmap.
In addition, if you want to pursue a masters degree but lack qualifying credits, these programs will help you design a learning pathway to get you there, giving you many more higher education options to explore.
This Financy article was written in partnership with Southern Cross University.