Postgraduate Courses – Best Course for me??

Ireland has the largest level of adults aged between 30 and 34 with tertiary level qualifications, 49% of this cohort have completed a postgraduate courses of sorts in 2011 according to an EU education report.  In fact, according to a CSO report in late 2011 the number of people with a third level qualification aged between 25 and 34 rose to two in every five people.


The market place for employment is more qualified, competitive and open than ever before and in order to stand out from the crowd a Post Graduate qualification is beginning to become a norm in order to stay competitive.  In the past a Post Graduate qualification provided a certain competitive advantage however over the past number of years it has almost become a necessary pre-requisite.  To prove this point a survey conducted by Association of Higher Education Careers Services showed that 44% of graduates are staying on in college to pursue postgraduates courses, perhaps due to the competitive nature of the employment market at present, the need to commercialise current knowledge and in the hope that upon Post Grad qualification, the economic outlook may have improved.


Greater Opportunities and Career Routes


Certainly, if you are a graduate from a classics background for example Arts, Law, History, Sociology and you are now working in employment or are currently seeking employment, adding a Post Graduate qualification to your professional ‘body of knowledge’ could open greater opportunities that may not have presented itself without a Post Graduate strategic and commercial qualification.  The job advancement may not be available right now; however the importance of planning and being prepared should never be ignored.


Postgraduate Courses – The Fees!


The cost of postgraduate courses in Ireland can range from between €4,000 to €10,000, fees in other European countries can be cheaper and the programmes are taught through English, all options should be explored and researched.  The credit unions have a long tradition of supporting individuals regarding loans for further education and there is also a tax rebate on your fees in Ireland.


Post Graduate qualifications are one NFQ (National Framework Qualification) level above Honours Degree Level and thus within the public sector and certain opportunities can guarantee a higher wage demand/grade.  A 2011 survey from showed that the sectors offering the highest educational premium are science, research and development and engineering.  Hence, there is potential to gain an instant financial return on investment with a higher qualification.


Postgraduate Courses – Which Course?


Choosing the right course?  There are thousands of postgraduate courses available across every sector, if you are a current student, first consult your lecturer and try and reflect on what the growth areas in your field may be as far as employment is concerned and match this against a course.  Do make sure the course has the appropriate accreditation.


All graduates are entitled to access the careers centres in their undergraduate school, seek out an appointment with one of their guidance practitioners, it will be free.  Finally if you are miles away from your undergraduate University/IT speak to an impartial and qualified career guidance practitioner nationwide at


Diarmuid Haughian

MA Career Guidance, QCG

Diarmuid is the founder and Managing Director of  He can be contacted on


Postgraduate Courses