It seems that every two or three years of economic and social evolution in all countries, approaches arise regarding the adequacy of postgraduate education to new challenges. Because that is what evolution always brings, luckily or unfortunately, but in the case of education in general, let’s say that it is a great luck that this is observed, analyzed and measures taken.
The challenges – as a general concept – affect higher education in the global market that is, undergraduate and, of course, postgraduate. In particular, postgraduate education must address not only the personal development of students pursuing a master’s degree or any other type of course, but also their professional development for the labor market.
The education provided by business schools is not only valid for the curricular content of their programs, the methodology they apply, the quality of their teachers, but also for the effort and certain guarantees they offer their graduates to be able to find a place in the competitive professional world.
It is quite evident that current issues (those challenges alluded to) cannot be addressed with methodologies and resources from ten years ago. The first thing business schools must do is banish outdated practices precisely in order to face the challenges posed by a rapidly changing global technological world that requires constant updating of knowledge and skills.
But an important piece of information for our analysis is that, although an effective learning environment must have an appropriate physical and psychological climate, we must not forget what the social climate is, which becomes an essential factor in developing an environment it is sure to cultivate freedom of expression and build trust. But this especially has become a very harsh challenge as a result of Covid-19 and the implications it has had in all areas of society on a global scale. For example, during 2020 it has been especially problematic for international graduate students due to the closure of borders and the different forms of confinement carried out by countries.
But trusting that we are on the way out of a health crisis that had not occurred for a hundred years, the challenges that postgraduate education now faces, passes, among other issues, through the following aspects that must be pay full attention from the direction of business schools:
– The time it takes to make an application for international students.
– What type of support do the candidates have from supervisors, colleagues and others.
– What are the linguistic requirements.
– Lack of familiarity with research ethics procedures.
What is true is that obtaining a master’s degree is not easy, because students will have to face a series of difficulties to complete the postgraduate degree they have chosen. These can manifest as something practical, such as financial problems.
To help prospective students know what challenges to expect (and how can they be overcome), we are going to take a closer look at the master’s experience.
The problem (which becomes a real challenge) for students is managing their personal finances. Given that this course only lasts one year, in the case of students who have moved to another country or another city within their country, they will have to take into account that in addition to the cost of tuition, they will have to face additional expenses such as rent, food and course materials, as the monthly costs can become a bit high for that student.
Since finances are a common concern among students, there are many proven methods that can help you make ends meet, such as part-time employment, that can become a good source of income and can help you build your CV with more work experience.
The downside, of course, is that a job will take time and add additional responsibilities to your daily workday, although with a little advance planning and time management, many students balance work and study.
Scholarships and grants
Many universities offer a variety of scholarship and grant programs to cover costs and tuition, both based on the needs of the candidate and on their academic merits. Additionally, some colleges offer alumni discounts to students who completed a bachelor’s degree at their institution, which will generally reduce the cost of tuition for a postgraduate course by 10%.
There are very special situations in countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, where the application of a loan for a master’s degree from the government itself is open for their students.
Although these loans have a repayment scheme, the amount they end up paying per year will be adapted to their income that they are generating from their work. And something important that is offered to them is that they will not have to face said debt until they have income above the threshold that is set as they can already take care of the payments.
There are also charities and trusts that provide financial support to people of different backgrounds studying a variety of subjects. While these scholarships will generally not cover all of your costs, they can help you reduce your spending margin. Financial concerns can be quite common, but students have many support options available. All it takes is a little planning and budgeting
The mental health challenge
Doing a full-time master’s degree can be quite intensive. Physical and psychological exhaustion is common, so you have to take care of both issues, being the most advisable to dedicate a little time to gymnastics or some type of sports activity, such as jogging, in addition to a healthy and good diet break.
Many are the universities that havespecific student support services that can provide you with great resources online and in person.
Preparing for the future
The last common challenge that master’s students face is preparing for the future. Many students decide to do a master’s degree to increase their employability. But to be successful, you must articulate why your graduate degree is going to make you employable.
In some ways, the answer is obvious. An additional year of education will increase your knowledge and experience in the field. But what about all those other skills you acquired along the way?
A master’s degree allows you to further hone your soft skills, such as time management, organization, and teamwork.
It is also important to communicate them to potential employers.
Another difficulty (another challenge) is knowing what you are qualified for
Many students decide to do a master’s degree because they enjoy their subject, not to improve their chances of a certain career. Deciding what to do after graduation can be quite overwhelming.
The best way to overcome this challenge is to do a preliminary investigation of what professional opportunities that specific master is having, or in the opposite direction, what the market is offering and at the same time demanding in terms of training and specific training. Discussing the careers for which you are most qualified could help you find career opportunities.
Another option is to apply for an additional graduate degree, founding this choice by saying that a more specialized professional degree is needed to enter a specific field. The good news is that the options are endless.