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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

More students pursuing post-graduate degrees, because a Bachelor’s doesn’t cut it anymore

Athina May

More people are opting for post-graduate studies in order to cut it in the dog-eat-dog working world.

More than ever, having a Bachelor’s Degree is simply not enough to secure a job, according to the city’s top universities.

Stellenbosch University’s graduation saw a record number of degrees this year with an increase in doctoral graduates and Master’s degrees.

According to Stellenbosch University vice-rector of research, innovation and postgraduate studies, professor Eugene Cloete this increase is partly due to pressure in the work field for graduates to be up-skilled.

“Students now go for Honours and Masters, they know the Bachelor is (the) bare minimum requirement to secure a job. It’s a worldwide trend.

“In the US, they talk about the demise of the Bachelor’s Degree.

“Higher level of expertise is required in the market place, as it’s not just a generalised job any more. Lots of independent thinking is needed.

“Master’s will become the norm, lots of people are entering university wanting to do their Master’s and higher.” Cloete said the unemployment rate is 32% for those without a degree, less than 6% for those with a Bachelor’s Degree and less than 3% for those who have their PhD.

The PhD therefore doubles a students chances of getting a good job and allows students to skip a few promotions and jump to a higher job level, exceeding their peers.

UWC head of research in the school of Business and Finance, professor Pradeep Brijlal said: “In past 10 years there has been a huge increase in Master’s and PhD applicants. Ten years ago we didn’t have any PhD applications, but now every year we receive about two or three on average in the school of finance and it’s increasing.”

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