Toward a New Narrative of Postgraduate Career

Living reference work entry
Part of the University Development and Administration book series (UDAA)


This chapter examines the relationship between the postgraduate taught (PGT) student experience and career development. It argues that career development is a critical theme which draws together all aspects of the PGT experience. PGT students overwhelmingly choose to undertake postgraduate programs for career reasons. Their participation on program is best understood as a space through which they can pursue their career development. Finally, their transition from PGT study to the labor market is explored. While PGT study offers a clear advantage in the labor market, this is neither inevitable nor equally distributed.

The chapter argues that despite the complexity of the return on investment, PGT programs continue to offer an important opportunity for individuals to develop their careers. This is true for both continuers, who move straight from undergraduate study, and returners, who reenter higher education after a period in the workforce. However, it also notes that access to PGT study is structured along familiar lines of social advantage.

The chapter discusses the implications for higher education providers of this picture of PGT as a career development intervention. It is argued that providers need to embrace the focus on career development and to ensure that their programs help students to realize their aspirations and to transform their PGT qualifications into real-world opportunities.


Postgraduate Postgraduate taught Career Career development Higher Education Employability 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Guidance StudiesUniversity of DerbyDerbyUK

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