Career ambition looks different for everyone. You might picture yourself at a startup in a cutting edge industry or at a renowned multinational company; you might be looking to maximize your salary or to work in a role with purpose and impact.
Whatever your aims, a master’s degree can certainly help. With dedicated careers teams, networking opportunities, and chances to gain work experience, a master’s can be a great way to kick off a career.
Here are five ways a master’s can boost your job prospects.
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1. You’ll learn transversal skills
Amidst uncertainty caused by COVID-19, employers are looking for candidates with strong, durable skills.
While technical skills—things like finance and accounting—are important, its skills that allow students longer term career success, and navigate uncertainty, that employers are really looking for.
“These include your capacity to adapt, your capacity to negotiate, and to be agile. That’s incredibly relevant in the current environment,” explains Jerome Troiano, director of EDHEC Business School’s Masters Career Center, during a BusinessBecause webinar.
A master’s degree curriculum is focused around building these competencies.
Aditi Mishra admits that her main reason for coming to EDHEC was to “become a better professional”. Having come straight from her bachelors, one key part of doing a master’s degree was improving her soft skill set, enhancing skills like communication and negotiation.
Aditi studied a dual degree Master in Management in Financial Economics & MSc in Corporate Finance and Banking. She is now part of the strategy and analytics rotational program at LinkedIn.
2. You can gain work experience
Students who are coming straight from bachelors programs may not have any prior professional experience. A master’s degree can be a great opportunity to gain this experience.
For EDHEC dual degree master’s students, the three year program encompasses a ‘gap’ year, where students complete a whole year of work experience at companies.
For Aditi, this included top financial stints at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BNP Paribas.
This is a strong boost to your job prospects. Employers rate proven experience with renowned companies. For many EDHEC students, these work experiences may even result in full-time employment
3. You can get help understanding your career goals
While many students come in with clear career ambitions, some students are less sure of their goals. Access to career mentoring and a dedicated career team is key to helping these students understand what drives them, and help them achieve it through their career.
Jerome explains how his career team helps students identify their goals. “Firstly, it’s important that students know themselves very well, because our mission and goal is that students and alumni really love the job that they begin their career with.”
“Second, we match these personalities and strengths with market trends. You don’t want to start in a sector or industry which is declining or witnessing major changes that won’t be beneficial to your career.”
4. You’ll be mentored through job hunting
Once ambitions are established, career centers will take students through all the different steps of applying to jobs to make sure they are best prepared. From resume writing workshops to mock interview practice, the aim is to help students stand out from the crowd on the job application process.
As soon as Aditi found out she had an interview with LinkedIn, she went straight to the career center, where they ran her through the specific types of interviews from the application process, to make sure she was fully prepared for what would come up.
Crucially, this support and mentoring doesn’t stop for students at graduation. Jerome is keen to emphasize that the career center is a lifelong service.
“All alumni will benefit from the work of the career center throughout their whole life. We even have some alumni with up to 30 years of experience, looking to make a career move, and they contact us.”
5. You’ll get chances to meet employers
The final step after providing students with the tools to begin their job hunt is to actually begin to foster relationships between students and recruiters, Jerome explains.
This doesn’t just happen during internships and placements. Students get access to countless career days, recruiting events, and assessment centers as a way of making that first introduction to potential future employers.
For Aditi, this was key to switching her ambitions from finance to tech. “The school really puts emphasis on people to be better networkers, so I could foster a lot of these relationships only because EDHEC taught me how to do that.”
Networking isn’t just about meeting employers who might give you a job straight after you graduate. Students should think about this longer term, and this is where your classmates come into it.
“I think the most unexpected thing for me was the friendships I have made,” Aditi says. It’s those friendships and relationships which students like Aditi can lean on for professional and personal advice for decades to come.