Generally speaking, it does matter where you get your master’s degree. You see, if it doesn’t matter, then there would be no cut-throat competition among applicants seeking admission into grad colleges.
Does It Matter Where You Get Your Masters?
You would simply go for a school with the lowest fees, fully aware that the outcome would be the same no matter where you went. Ultimately, you’re the judge when it comes to such serious life issues as choosing a college program that can help you secure a job with much ease.
So, does it matter where you get your masters? Yes, but wait a bit. There is way so many variables that you shouldn’t ignore when choosing a graduate university. That’s exactly what this article is all about- how to choose a postgraduate university.
Does it Matter Where You Get Your Masters?
We all want to pursue courses at reputable institutions- we can’t afford to ignore the power of reputation. Talk through your ideas with family members, pals, career experts and education experts to find the best options available for you. Read online and offline reviews of institutions and also check tables that rank universities. Make sure to check the authenticity of sources though, as some materials can be biased or misleading.
You may want to compare universities based on entry standards, grades, international outlook, staff-student ratios, overall student satisfaction, research assessment, learning materials, teaching school’s organization and management, personal development and extracurricular activities, assessment, tech and academic support, citations, employment prospects, industry funding, fees, among other factors.
The Guide to Choosing a Postgraduate Uni
With your career goals in mind, think fourth about what you want out of your postgraduate university. You know, what’s more important when deciding where to get your master’s could be reputation, costs, location, course content, and funding.
That’s why choosing the university is just as vital as choosing the course. To some extent, these crucial decisions are interrelated. If you enroll in a school where the course is great but you’re constantly feeling unhappy, or the university is great but you’re pursuing a course you don’t want, there are chances that you won’t achieve your full potential.
Without further ado…
Make Sure to Choose the Right Program
It’s helpful to be 100% sure about the master’s subject you’ve picked. In real terms, you’ll spend your next about 2-3 years pursuing it, after which you will graduate to go and apply the skills learnt in your area of specialization.
This means that it’s overly important to do thorough homework; read as much as you can about your preferred university, right?
Check course content, available job options, salaries, and such. Google should be your friend by the way. But you don’t want to realize after a year of studying that you want to be a doctor instead of a counselling psychologist.
What Do University Rankings Say?
After you’ve made up your mind on the filed you want to specialize in, it’s also fundamental to check the picture of the school you are considering, as painted by various university rankings. When you start your search for universities, make sure to check all the major league tables and calculate the averages.
Most of the ranking tables available online and offline offer general ranking while others have separate tables for subjects. For most applicants, the most important information was staff to student ratio- the higher this ratio is, the better.
You see, in small classes, you can easily ask questions and understand content better. You don’t want to be in bigger classes where the tutors find it extremely hard to handle the needs of many students.
What’s the University Library Like?
All degrees are no joke, but postgraduate studies require more seriousness. And seriousness starts with the library. As a master’s student you’ll, without a doubt, spend most of your time and life in the library.
What this means is that the library should have all the necessary learning resources, to make it easy for you to conduct your research. To ensure more comfort, and bearing in mind that master’s students are early birds and night owls, check whether there’s a café inside the library.
Check Course Content
This is yet another important factor to put into consideration when choosing the best postgraduate university- course content. You can check what the course content looks like from the university’s web portal. If there’s an area you’re particularly interested in, check if the university offers it or not. Alternatively, you can decide to throw them a call directly, and you know what? They’ll be more than happy to answer to all the questions you have.
Self-Improvement and Extracurricular Activities
Before picking a university from where you’ll pursue your master’s, know that all study and no play will certainly make you a dull Tom. You see, a master’s program will definitely leave you and your peers drained mentally and physically, but such activities as sports can help fix that. That said, see what societies and sports are offered by the university.
Whether you’re an avid player of poker or football, you should check whether there are clubs and societies within the university. From the dozens of extracurricular activities offered by universities, pick one or two that match your hobbies. Who said that postgraduate life is all about studying?
Find Out If There’s Student Accommodation
Postgraduate life means that you’ll lack time for your family, let alone yourself. You’ll probably be staying away from your family for a longer time, which means that you should a new home away from home. Therefore, it’s fundamental to check if the university you’re considering offers nice and comfortable student accommodation, one that you can call ‘’home’’. Always be prepared: you may want to learn how to do laundry, cooking, and washing. And don’t feel intimidated at the sight of roommates as it will take you only a week or so to be friends.
If there are courses that demand a lot from the academic and tech support team, then they’ve to be postgraduate studies. Whether you may need or not, it’s important to be in the know about the support that you can enjoy as a master’s student.
We’re talking about course materials, financing, and overall students’ wellness. Also, learn about the students’ association’s and university’s protocol for handling students’ problems. If you happened to have special needs, maybe mental issues or physical disabilities, make sure to check what support can be availed to you during your stay at the university.
If you’re an international student, check whether there are ways put in place to ensure that you integrate with the university community smoothly.
Check Out Their Sustainability Policies
These days, almost all universities are dedicating a decent amount of their time and resources to making their environments greener. You don’t want to join a school that doesn’t care about reducing carbon, food waste and plastic waste. It is important to know about the measure your preferred university has put in place to enhance sustainability.
Considering how far you want to be from home while you study, explore different universities. Figure out whether or not distance will affect you, your family, and other things that you do.
If you don’t like staying far away from home, go for a university near your home area. However, if you are ready to experience a new world, explore universities that are further away.
Along these lines, ask yourself if you’d feel more at home in a smaller or bigger city. Then start to tick off your choices.
Picking the best location will mean that you’ll like studying in a comfortable environment and hence make the most out of it.
The final yet the most important thing that you should pay attention to when choosing a postgraduate university is the approximate total costs that you’ll incur throughout your stay.
If you decide to stay near home, you’re likely to spend less money as you’ll already be saving on rent and food.
On the other hand, you may realize that some school abroad is offering a better tuition fees package than your local universities. You’d also be surprised to learn that the cost of living abroad is way lower than that of your home area.
The most important thing is to weigh up all the possible scenarios before making a move. You should also make sure to find ways to do your money some justice where possible.
Choose the Right Postgraduate University
Being able to choose the right postgraduate university is overly important; though preparing beforehand and doing your homework can help to avoid you from transferring, or worse still, dropping out of school.
Neither of these possibilities is the end of the world, but should they happen, they can teach you a painful lesson; financially.
But you see, it’s possible to avoid challenges down the line one, if you choose to abide by this guide closely.
To wrap up this, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to choosing the right postgraduate university, but you should always learn to weigh up all the options and defining factors at your disposal.