Why postgraduate study is valuable for your career


Ask the CEOs of the ASX200-listed companies if postgraduate study has been good for their career and 108 of them will almost certainly say yes. 54% of our highest earning and highest profile CEOs have completed postgraduate studies, including:

– Steven Lowy, Westfield, AUD$ 25, 906, 960 – BCom (Hons)
– Louis Gries, James Hardie Industries, AUD$ 18, 030, 451 – MBA
– Ron Delia, Amcor, AUD$ 12, 208, 088 – MBA
– Alan Joyce, Qantas, AUD$ 11, 247, 850 – MSc
– Mike Kane, Boral, AUD$ 9, 826, 935 – MSc

These 2017 realised pay figures from Robert Half’s CEO Tracker are undoubtedly impressive and while not every ASX200 CEO earns that much, their median realised pay of $1.76m is a lucrative reward for reaching the top. For most of our corporate leaders, that climb has been made possible with postgraduate study in their career arsenal.


Motivated by more than money?

BIG money and power might not be your main motivations for enrolling for online postgraduate studies through Griffith University. Your primary goal might be career stability or progression, which will enhance your earning capacity anyway. Maybe you want to be able to apply for a wider range of job opportunities, particularly ones that meet your passion? Your postgraduate study will almost certainly allow you to do that. A survey in a recent Labour Market Information Portal  showed that 38.5% of all job advertisements required people to have a Bachelor degree or higher, compared to only 11.5% of job advertisements aimed at people holding a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.


A firm footing in an uncertain world

The value of a postgraduate qualification is undeniable.  This is especially true in a global economy where employers are holding off from employing undergraduates due to uncertainty about the impact of technology and outsourcing. Finance journalist Tony Featherstone alluded to this in a 2016 news article, and suggested a blend of ongoing education and work experience is a good insurance policy against this uncertainty:

“a better model is less upfront university education straight after school and a stronger culture of lifelong learning across undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. A model that places less emphasis on a university degree as an “entry point” to a job and more on the combination of work experience and part-time uni education; a model where students have ongoing commercial relationships and connections with their university, not only for a few years during their degree”

If Tony Featherstone is right, it seems a postgraduate qualification is prudent as well as desirable. As technology changes the global job market, it makes sense to invest in some future-proofing by adding a higher degree of skills and thinking to your real-world experience.

The return on investment from your postgraduate study could be higher than you first envisaged, and not just measured in dollar signs.