A masters will not kick-start a career on its own and can even put people at a disadvantage in the job hunt. In The Value of Graduates and Postgraduates, a study published last month by Council for Industry and Higher Education, which links businesses and universities, Helen Connor, a consultant for CIHE looked at how much postgraduate degrees were worth to employers. Up to 75 per cent of employers in the study said they sought to recruit postgraduate students. She found no concrete evidence that those with masters degrees performed better in a job. However, they were more likely to get through the selection process, even where employers saw no advantage in candidates having a masters.
The potential financial advantages for postgraduates are clear. Research by the Sutton Trust found that those with a masters earn on average £1.75 million over their lifetime, 15 per cent more than those with just a first degree. The average starting salary for a postgraduate was £24,000 in 2008 compared with £19,500 for an ordinary graduate.
According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters, a third of employers plan to offer a financial premium for a postgraduate degree this year; an increase of 11.7 per cent on last year. A PhD attracts the highest premium, followed by an MA or MSc. Read full text here.