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Choosing what to study

Top ten postgraduate subjects for employability

Students generally study postgraduate courses for one key reason: to boost their career prospects. If you’re wondering what the best subjects are for postgraduate employability, here’s a look at the current top ten.

Two people businessmen shaking hands

=9. Business and Administrative Studies

Two people analysing diagrams and data

Postgraduate employability: 72%

A postgraduate degree in business and administrative studies will make you well-versed in business development, information management, accounting, and more. This can lead to a career in a variety of sectors including finance, manufacturing and public administration.

=9. Mass Communication and Documentation

Group of cameras facing same direction

Postgraduate employability: 72%

Mass communication and documentation involves the study of how content is packaged for and consumed by a mass market, and also looks at how information is stored. This could be a great option if you’re thinking of a career in media, publishing, journalism, teaching or information management.

=7. Computer Science

Person with clipboard assessing computer mainframe

Postgraduate employability: 73%

Computer scientists study and learn how to design and manipulate computers and computational processes. In today’s digital age, those with expertise in this field can find postgraduate jobs in practically any industry.

=7. Engineering and Technology

Person analysing some engineering equipment

Postgraduate employability: 73%

The applicable nature of subjects like engineering and technology means the chances of postgraduate students finding professional-level employment after graduation are quite high. Whether you specialise in electrical, mechanical, automotive, chemical, aeronautical or any other kind of engineering, your skills are sure to be in demand.

6. Medicine and Dentistry

Dentist assessing x-ray scan of teeth

Postgraduate employability: 76%

Of course, if you’re looking for a career in medicine or dentistry then these are the postgraduate subjects to consider. Many careers within this sector demand long-term studying, so these degrees are highly vocational.

5. Veterinary Medicine

Vet looking at a sample under microscope

Postgraduate employability: 79%

Many veterinary medicine undergraduates become vets straight after graduation but the option for postgraduate study is always there to give your career an extra lift. There are many different routes you can go down including research, specialisation in specific areas, and internships or residencies.

4. Medicine-related degrees

Doctor looking into a microscope

Postgraduate employability: 81%

Postgraduate subjects allied to medicine include anatomy; optometry, ophthalmology and orthoptics; and medical technology, among others. With healthcare being such an important aspect of society, it's understandable that postgraduate students of these subjects find employment easily.

3. Architecture, Building and Planning

Person analysing a computer screen

Postgraduate employability: 82%

If you're thinking of working in architecture you'll need a master's degree to progress to chartership. Postgraduate students for all architecture courses are normally required to have an honours degree in a relevant subject.

2. Combined/dual degrees

Many books randomly bunched together

Postgraduate employability: 90%

Postgraduate courses that cover more than one subject area fall in this category. Judging by its employability score, a combined postgraduate degree could be the smart way to go.

1. Education

Teacher helping young student with work

Postgraduate employability: 93%

Generally, those studying a postgraduate degree in education have one thing in mind: to become a teacher. Whether going into secondary or primary education, you'll study a highly vocational postgraduate degree, spending most of your time actually practising in schools. Graduates leave fully prepared for a job as a qualified teacher, and most end up finding one.

Postgraduate employability scores are based on the percentage of postgraduate students (enrolled on full-time courses) in full-time professional employment six months after graduation. All data from HESA (201617).

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