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

External Resources
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This information was last updated on 12 November 2019.
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Recent blogs about Consider your Motivations for Further Study

Exploring volunteering and employment opportunities

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 01/04/2020.

Despite the setbacks caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, the Careers Service and Internship Office continue to support Oxford students in their career and personal development. We realise this is especially needed for those who are unable to apply for internships, or have had an internship cancelled.

Our Careers Advisers have put together a list of opportunities that can make a difference to your CV during the coronavirus pandemic.

See below a list of volunteering and employment opportunities

Data Science Bootcamp: Applications close 5 April

Posted on behalf of Pivigo. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 01/04/2020.

Pivigo, providers of the London-based Science to Data Science (S2DS) programme have moved their August programme to their remote learning model – it will be the 12th time they have delivered the S2DS bootcamp via distance learning, so a tried and tested teaching model.

Applications close this Sunday, so move quickly if you are an analytical DPhil or MSc student or recent graduate interested in making the transition to a data science career. For details, visit the Science to Data Science website: www.s2ds.org 

The bootcamp will provide both training and support whilst you work in a virtual team on a commercial data science problem for a commercial organisation. Over the 5 weeks of the programme, you should develop increased confidence and expertise, real-life experience and a new network within the learning cohort and S2DS alumni group.

Applications are invited from people who:

  • DPhil/PhD or MSc in an analytical science
  • Intermediate programming skills in Python, R, Java or similar
  • Documented experience in use of mathematical and statistical methods
  • Excellent communication skills in writing and speaking
  • Strong desire to transition into a data science career

Successful applicants are required to pay a £800 registration fee, but there are no additional costs beyond that.

Continued careers support

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 18/03/2020.

The Careers Service is committed to providing expert careers support, whenever you need it. In response to recent global developments, we have taken the decision to move our operations online for the time being. You can still book an advice appointment with one of our Careers Advisers, or use our e-guidance service if you have a careers-related question.

Telephone

If you would like to have a discussion by telephone, you can book a Short Discussion appointment. Please ensure the phone number listed in your CareerConnect account is correct as we will use that number to call you at the time of your appointment. We can still give you feedback on your CV and other documents over the phone – these can be uploaded to your CareerConnect account before your appointment.

Email

The Careers Service will also offer an e-guidance service as usual during the Easter vacation. If you have a careers advice question, you can email us on guidance@careers.ox.ac.uk once the service opens on Monday, 23 March. A Careers Adviser will normally reply to your email within two working days. We will be running the e-guidance service until Thursday, 16 April.

Changes to upcoming events and continued careers support

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 16/03/2020.

Changes to upcoming events at the Careers Service building

Due to the evolving situation with Coronavirus (Covid-19), we have taken the decision to postpone our current programmes, including not running appointments or events at the Careers Service building, for the time being.

Continued careers support

We are pleased to confirm that you can can still access careers advice via telephone, and our email guidance service will operate as usual during the Easter vacation.

  • If you would like to have a discussion by telephone, you can book a Short Discussion appointment. Please ensure the phone number listed in your CareerConnect account is correct as we will use that number to call you at the time of your appointment. We can still give you feedback on your CV and other documents over the phone – these can be uploaded to your CareerConnect account before your appointment.
  • The Careers Service will also offer an e-guidance service as usual during the Easter vacation. If you have a careers advice question, you can email us on guidance@careers.ox.ac.uk once the service opens on Monday, 23 March. A Careers Adviser will normally reply to your email within two working days.

We will be running our remote support sessions from Monday, 23 March until Thursday, 16 April.

For more advice and updates on Coronavirus (Covid-19) from Oxford University, please see the dedicated advice page.

Practise your pupillage interview technique with ULaw and Outer Temple Chambers

Blogged by Julia Sadler on 26/02/2020.

Considering becoming a barrister? Keen to practise your pupillage interview technique and get constructive feedback? Then make sure you book one of these mock interviews on CareerConnect.

Mock pupillage interviews with ULaw and Outer Temple Chambers

WHEN: Tuesday 3 March, 45-minute bookable appointments between 10:00 and 14:30
WHERE: The Careers Service, 56 Banbury Road

Whether you are hoping to interview for pupillage this term or  further into the future, these mock pupillage interviews will give be a useful experience. These 45-minute practice mock interview sessions are aimed at those interested or applying for the Bar and/or for Bar scholarships. They aim to replicate first round pupillage interviews. You will have an opportunity to try out your interview technique and receive feedback on your performance.

Elizabeth Grace from Outer Temple Chambers and Mark Jones from the University of Law will run the one-to-one mock interviews. Mark is the Future Pupil Programme Coordinator at The University of Law; he studied the BPTC last year and obtained an offer for pupillage to start in October 2020. Elizabeth is a barrister at Outer Temple Chambers.

If you would like to have an appointment you need to book your interview time through CareerConnect. You will need to submit your CV and indicate which ‘sets’ you intend to apply for at the time of booking  your appointment.  It will be passed on to your interviewer before your session.

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