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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 18 July 2019.
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Recent blogs about Consider your Motivations for Further Study

OXFO L.E.V8 Accelerator

Posted on behalf of Oxford Foundry. Blogged by Mike Moss on 20/09/2019.

OXFO L.E.V8 (Elevate) at the Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford’s most diverse accelerator. The programme takes in up to 12 high potential ventures a year and is designed to support and nurture early-stage start-up teams affiliated to the university.

Oxford students, staff and alumni can get six months free support to build their venture. This includes mentorship, masterclasses, and access to the Foundry’s global network of investors and partners including Biz Stone, Cofounder of Twitter and Medium, Jenny Tooth OBE, UK Business Angels Association, Professor Bill Aulet, MIT, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, and Robin Saunders, Managing Partner at Clearbrook Capital.

Ventures also get support to build a team – many ventures have met their cofounders through the Foundry, along with leadership and resilience skills support, financial, business, pitching, product-market fit, customer development and legal advice.

To date, the Foundry has supported 19 start-ups who have raised £7m, created 70 jobs and are having a global impact across sectors including retail, medtech, energy, publishing, fintech and more.

The accelerator is based in our Oxford Foundry building on Hythe Bridge street and runs from 18 November 2019 to May 2020.

“The Foundry has accelerated our growth by providing a space devoted to entrepreneurship, giving us access to people with diverse talents and expertise, and to its network of investors. It has been incredible. Such growth wouldn’t have been possible without the Foundry. We are now focused on raising capital and sales and marketing. We want to sign ten new clients by the end of the year.” Jason Lacombe, CEO, Veratrak.

We welcome solo founders and teams and it’s a fantastic chance to be part of a supportive and expert community.  The programme is equity-free.

Apply online on the Oxford Foundry website. Deadline: 30 September 2019.

Your help is needed! Do you have an interest in events and/or earning some extra money?

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 17/09/2019.

The Careers Service is currently looking for students to help out at the Michaelmas Term Careers Fairs. Our fairs are great fun and a good addition to your CV! The first fair – the Oxford University Careers Fair – is on 19 October. The rate of pay is £10.33 per hour.

The work will involve helping fair attendees (students and employers), as well as assisting Careers Service staff. Please note that some manual lifting will be required.

The roles include assisting in setting up the exhibition stands (assembling display panels, arranging tables, chairs and linen etc.); arranging for materials that have been delivered to the venue to be taken to the employers stand; meeting and greeting employers on their arrival to the fair; and helping them carry any materials. During the fair, responsibilities will include ensuring that employers have sufficient water and refreshments, and taking away any rubbish. At the end of the fair, duties will include assisting employers with materials that are required to be taken to cars on their departure; taking down display stands and clearing away.

If you are interested in helping out, please contact the Employer Relations Team by emailing Aisling Ridge on aisling.ridge@careers.ox.ac.uk to express your interest.

Start-up Visa Endorsement Application – Information Session

Blogged by Brianna Thompson on 15/08/2019.

This information session (with the Student Visa and Immigration Office and Endorsement Panel Chair) is an opportunity to better understand what the endorsement panel at Oxford are looking for, and the process of making your application. We strongly advise anyone thinking of making an application for endorsement to attend.

  • When: 2 September 2019, 9:15-10:00
  • Where: The Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road
  • TO BOOK A PLACE at this discussion contact brianna.thompson@careers.ox.ac.uk with your name and, if applicable, the course and year(s) of study at the University of Oxford.

We are keen to support entrepreneurial activity at all levels and encourage people from any discipline and with any sort of business idea to apply.

More information can be found on our visas page or you can sign up to our Start-up Visa mailing list.

Win £100 with the Internship Office Photo Competition!

Blogged by Rachel Ruscombe-King on 18/07/2019.

The Oxford University Internship Office Photo Competition is taking place once again in 2019! We are inviting all students who take part in internships facilitated through the Internship Office to submit photos that best represent your internship experience.

Please submit entries for the following categories:

Through an intern’s eyes…

What does your internship look like? Are there images you are seeing each day that would represent your experience in a positive way? Perhaps a snap of your colleagues, your workstation, field trips, events or meetings, appealing views on your way to work, even interesting objects which you associate with your internship. You can be as creative as you like!

You on your internship

We want to see photos of you in your internship environment. This could be a selfie, or you could task someone else to take a picture of you in action on your internship. This could be a posed shot, a journey, an event, meeting or you in your everyday routine on your internship.

Rules and tips

  • To enter the competition, please send your photos by email to internships@careers.ox.ac.uk with the items as file attachments, or using a file transfer service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox. Please state clearly which categories you would like to enter.
  • You may enter five photos for each category (a maximum of 10 photos in total).
  • The winning entries will be decided by a selection panel at the Careers Service.
  • For information on copyright and usage permission, please see the terms and conditions.
  • There will be one prize winner per category, who will each be awarded a high street voucher worth £100.
  • We are looking for photographs that communicate your internship experience in an interesting way. Creativity and imagination will be rewarded!
  • The closing date for this competition is 17:00, Monday 16 September 2019.

And finally, if you need some inspiration, have a look at some of our favourite entries from previous competitions:

2015 Slideshow

2016 Slideshow

2017 Slideshow

Researcher Strategy Consultancy Michaelmas 2019 – Apply Now!

Blogged by Fiona Sinclair on 18/07/2019.

Applications for the Researcher Strategy Consultancy programme are now open

The purpose of the Researcher Strategy Consultancy programme is to provide early career researchers (DPhil students, RAs, and postdocs) with an opportunity to develop the core employability skills required for a transition into analytical, business, or policy roles in the sector.

Particular emphasis is given to business awareness, teamwork, communication and leadership to complement other postgraduate training. This programme enables participants to build on skills that typically develop in designing, planning and conducting complex research projects. Whatever their career plans, including further research and academia, participants can benefit significantly from the programme.

Participants volunteer some of their own time to work in teams, over a 3 month period, to address a strategic issue or business opportunity for a client organisation.

Apply now

Click here to apply. The closing date is Monday 9 September (noon).

We are particularly interested in attracting applicants from across the University to form cross-disciplinary teams to work on our client challenges.

For further information, and for mandatory assessment and training dates, please visit the Researcher Strategy Consultancy webpage. If you have any queries regarding the programme, please email courses@careers.ox.ac.uk.

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