There was a time when a bachelor’s degree was the gold standard of professional success and marketability. Today’s employers appear to have shifted priorities, and some commentators (including the New York Times) have been so bold as to suggest that the master’s is the new bachelor’s degree.

Actually, it may not be that bold of a suggestion. Last year, the periodical GradEdge published data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, projecting increased employer demand for employees with master’s degrees and doctorates by margins of 20 and 22 percent, respectively, by the year 2020. This data is representative of the US market, but trends like this are cropping up all over the world.

University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, Scotland

University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School, Scotland

With movements like this in motion, Asian students enrolling in postgraduate programs today are positioning themselves to ride the leading edge of employability in the next few years. This is a single, albeit very compelling reason for Asian students to pursue postgraduate credentials, but there are plenty more. Consider the following three factors motivating students around the world to continue beyond the undergraduate benchmark:

Ongoing studies
This is a purist’s motivation, but it’s also one of the most compelling reasons to pursue postgraduate credentials. When you really love what you’re doing, it’s natural to want to take it to the next level. If passion for the subject matter is what’s motivating you, then you can more or less guarantee that you’ll be glad you went in for a master’s degree or PhD. And if it just so happens that you secure a better-paying job or more highly respected position in the process – well, that’s icing on the cake.

Enhanced employability
Opposite the purist’s pursuit is the pragmatist’s way of thinking. Today’s international job market is more competitive than ever before, and every additional certification and credential that you add to your resume gives you that much more of an edge over the average candidate.

University of Wolverhampton

Pic: University of Wolverhampton.

This can play out in a number of ways. In some cases, a candidate may be more or less qualified for a given position, save for a particular credential. In this case, a postgraduate diploma or certification course may be all that’s required to put that candidate in the running. A full degree course will take this a great deal further.

Career shift
It’s not a particularly encouraging thought to entertain, but there are times when a person’s undergraduate area of specialty just isn’t what they expected. The good news is, a postgraduate specialization allows you to change gears and take your career in a new (and often dynamic) direction. Take, for example, the possibilities that open up when you add an MBA to an undergraduate engineering degree, or when you layer a master’s in law on top of a biomedical degree. A candidate can easily come the most attractive and sought-after professional in two very different sectors.

For those contemplating further study, the following are among the leading postgraduate programs for Asian students:

UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW ADAM SMITH BUSINESS SCHOOL
The University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School offers relevant, research-led education in a friendly, supportive and internationally focused environment. Anchored in the intellectual tradition of Adam Smith, the business school offers an educational experience that is enhanced by history and innovation, by traditions of scholarship and creativity and by the combination of leading edge research and practical achievement. Read the full profile here…

University of Glasgow Business School, Scotland

Pic: University of Glasgow Business School

UNIVERSITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON
The University of Wolverhampton is one of those rare universities that can foster a thriving academic environment without foregoing the fundamentals of employability. It turns over stellar research findings, attracts strong interest in industry partnerships and generates millions of pounds’ worth of public funding – all without losing sight of its students’ bottom-line reasons for seeking further education. In short, this is a university that creates and transforms careers. Read the full profile here…

University of Wolverhampton postgraduate programmes

Pic: University of Wolverhampton postgraduate programmes.

UNIVERSITY OF WEST LONDON
Recently singled out by The Guardian University Guide as London’s leading university, the University of West London plays host to more than 3,000 international students in a given year. A 150-year history, world-class facilities and a reputation for groundbreaking research make this a leading choice for postgraduate study.

UNIVERSITY OF BOLTON
Bolton University dates to the 1820s, but it’s the university’s most recent developments that are capturing students’ attention today. The amount of investment that has gone into the campus over the past few years is staggering, and strong links with schools in Singapore, Malaysia, China and Sri Lanka ensure that Bolton remains a promising postgraduate candidate for Asian students.