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Consider your Motivations for Further Study | The Careers Service Consider your Motivations for Further Study – Oxford University Careers Service
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Why do further study?

There a many reasons why someone would choose to undertake further study. They are likely to be a mix of some of the following:

  • To satisfy intellectual curiosity, fuel a passion for your subject.
  • To gain expertise in a specific area, or to build evidence of experience of a sector.
  • To improve your career prospects, more on this below.
  • To gain entry to a career for which a higher degree is a (virtually) essential precursor.
  • To change direction into another discipline.
  • To enhance your skills generally.
  • To boost a weak academic record.
  • To buy some time while you make career decisions, or while the labour market refreshes.
  • To maintain a student lifestyle…

It’s worth taking some time to think beyond your basic motivation. We highlight some of the other issues you might consider below.

Will it improve your career prospects?

For some professions postgraduate qualifications are essential. For example, in the UK you are likely to need them for research and teaching posts in universities, health specialisms and legal careers.

Often a postgraduate course is just one possible route to gaining experience and entry to a sector. This is, for example, the case in journalism, museum work, environmental work, and international development.

In the UK, employers often do not demand a higher degree, and in some cases a postgraduate could be recruited to do the same job as a first-degree graduate. In many business areas employers will take you on regardless of your subject, and train you themselves or put you through the necessary professional training.

Further study will not automatically get you a better job, but it can improve your chances if the employer requires the specialism you have developed. The transferable skills gained from doing postgraduate study, carefully targeted and effectively marketed in an application, can greatly enhance job applications, but may not earn you a better starting salary.

For international careers thorough research is even more important. Different countries often have their own professional qualifications, and even within the European Union there may not be harmony. Sector-specific postgraduate qualifications gained in a particular location may only be valid for jobs in the same country. As such, it may be important to consider whether you’re likely to wish to move between countries before you begin.

Research the area you want to go into, and discuss your ideas with a Careers Adviser before embarking on a course which may not be necessary for your future career. More on this below.

How to research for yourself

Thorough research of an occupation is necessary before deciding to undertake any related study.

External Resources
This information was last updated on 14 August 2018.
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Recent blogs about Consider your Motivations for Further Study

Free Practice for Psychometric Recruitment Tests

Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 12/09/2018.

Since the beginning of September, your Careers Service is providing free access to a comprehensive range of practice materials to help students and alumni prepare for the recruitment tests commonly used by companies in recruitment.

This service provided by JobTestPrep covers pretty much the full spectrum of recruitment psychometric tests and also includes practice materials specifically developed to mirror the tests used by individual named companies. So whether you are looking to prepare for verbal and numerical reasoning tests, or e-tray exercises, or the Watson Glaser tests used by nearly all law firms, the free access we provide will help you to prepare and practise.

Matriculated students and alumni must apply to the Careers Service for an Access Code. This will give you 12 months free access to the site from the first time that you log in with the code. To request a code, sign-in to your Oxford CareerConnect account and submit a query via the Queries tab using the title: Request for JobTestPrep Access Code.

An additional free resource offering a whole bank of tests is provided for us by Practice Aptitude Tests, and this can be accessed by anyone who has an Oxford University email address. To access this service, simply register using an email address that ends .ox.ac.uk. 

Full advice is given in our briefing on Psychometric Tests.

The Student Consultancy Michaelmas Term – apply now!

Blogged by Debra Popperwell on 14/08/2018.

Consultancy Training in Michaelmas Term…

The Student Consultancy provides you with an exceptional insight into consultancy practice. Across a term, you will work in a team on a real-life business challenge for a client organisation.

Past students have worked with clients including: The Oxford Boat Race, Yellow Submarine, Belu Water, Eco Concierge, Eve, Happen, IBM, Minervation, Modern Art Oxford, Oxfam, Oxford Limited, OxHub, OxFizz, Oxford City Council, Oxford University Library Services, Pegasus Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre plus a range of start-ups.

… but it isn’t just about consulting!

The Student Consultancy can help you prove or improve a wide range of employability skills, some consultancy but also transferable skills including team work, communication, problem solving and business and customer awareness skills. These will be helpful in a huge range of future careers. Many of the students who take part actually do want to be a Management Consultant – which is great, but not a prerequisite! In other words, we don’t mind what you are studying as long as you have the right attitude and interest. Past TSC participants have ranged from 1st years to DPhils and from English to Economics students – with everything in between.

The Careers Service tries to match you to a client in a sector of interest – to provide experience for future applications. Whether you want a career in museums or marketing, or an insight into IT or charities, The Student Consultancy can help.

Apply now

We run The Student Consultancy each term – and applications for the Michaelmas Term 2018 Student Consultancy are now open. We strongly advise applying as soon as you can, as the application window will close once we have a certain number of participants.

To apply please search “Student Consultancy Michaelmas Term 2018” under the opportunities tab of CareerConnect.

For further information, and for mandatory assessment and training dates, please visit The Student Consultancy webpage.

Civil Service Fast Stream Offer-holders panel: June 2018

Blogged by James Salas on 13/07/2018.

In 6th week Trinity Term, the Careers Service invited five Finalist who all held offers for the UK Civil Service (3x Fast Streamers; +1 Direct entry; +1 HMT Graduate programme) to talk about their experiences in the application and interview process, including their attendance of numerous assessment centres:

  • Fast Stream Assessment Centre (everyone does this one);
  • Economics FS;
  • Social Researchers FS;
  • FCO Diplomatic FS;
  • HMT graduate programme.

The Careers Service has a comprehensive written account of this presentation that is available to current students through the Careers Service’s Interview Database.

If you are considering an application for the civil service this autumn, expect positions to open from mid-August or early September, and to close in the 3rd week of October. Last year, all Fast Stream programmes, including the early and summer diversity internship programmes had the same early application deadline.

If you are well prepared, you should be able to navigate the early stages before term starts, which will mean you have ample time to prepare for each new phase. You can use the account of our offer-holders panel together with our Government and Public Sector briefing paper to get your bearings and make a start with your preparations. And remember, support from the Careers Service is available throughout the summer, wherever you are.

*Alumni cannot access our interview database. Any recent alumni considering applications to the Civil Service can request their own copy of the panel session by writing to reception@careers.ox.ac.uk with details of their College, Oxford Degree course and their year of completion.

Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award 2018

Posted on behalf of Haymarket Media. Blogged by Elleanor Thornton on 05/07/2018.

Aged between 17 and 25 and want to kick-start your career in the automotive industry?

Come up with a problem-solving idea or innovation that will improve the UK automotive business and you could win £8,000 plus a five-month work experience placement at Horiba Mira, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Nissan and Toyota.

How to enter

Describe an idea or innovation that would improve the UK automotive business. The idea should fall into one of five categories – Mobility, Connectivity, Sustainability, Customer Experience, or Marketing and Communications – and it could focus on any area of the automotive business, from concept through to the sales showroom, car ownership and the aftermarket.

The deadline for entries is 17:00 on Friday, 31 August 2018.

Visit the website and enter today.

Terms and conditions apply. See website for details.

Interested in Advertising, Marketing and Creative Careers? Apply to the Daniel Marks Planning Academy 2018

Posted on behalf of Daniel Marks. Blogged by Lara Hayward on 04/07/2018.

THE DANIEL MARKS PLANNING ACADEMY 2018

Daniel Marks is a leader in advertising recruitment and we are keen to help our clients develop and nurture the next generation of strategic thinkers. We recognise that it is incredibly hard for young planners to get a start in the industry. The Daniel Marks Planning Academy represents a unique opportunity to get your foot through the door at some of the best creative advertising agencies in the world.

We are looking for people who are not afraid to challenge themselves and lend their unique vision to some of the most exciting agencies in London.

Successful applicants will receive mentoring, support and a potential permanent job opportunity as a Junior Planner at a leading creative agency in London. Applicants may be recent graduates, junior account handlers or simply have an inquisitive and curious mind looking for a career of influence.

KEY DATES:

  • 8 May 2018 – Entry Application Open
  • 8 September 2018 – Application Deadline for Submissions
  • 20 September 2018 – Roundtable Judging Event at the Daniel Marks London offices

HOW TO APPLY:

All the applicant needs to do is to submit their response in answering a strategic brief. We present their work for them to a panel of Judges who are all Chief Strategy Officers at top Creative Agencies in London with a view to offering mentorship, paid internships or even a full-time job up to £25K as a Junior Planner.

Further details on the Planning Academy initiative and how to apply can be found at www.danielmarks.com/planners.

If you have any further questions please contact planningacademy@danielmarks.com or tweet us @teamdanielmarks using #PlanningAcademy.

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