Straight Outta Bachelor's Degree

Are you thinking of going straight into academia right after hanging up your graduation robe? Wondering where the differences start between working life and postgraduate life? is here to ride along your train of thoughts.
Benny Razali

Having graduated from your degree; you browse social media and realise that everyone just went their own way right after your bachelor’s degree graduation. Some got married, some started the business they couldn’t stop talking about throughout your final year, and a couple or two just… fell off the grid. But surely, most of your course mates and friends jumped right into the working world because it seems to be the most sensible option for fresh graduates.

Most, but not all. Not you, at least. Because the academic field seems more appealing to you. Perhaps you feel like there’s more to be unveiled within the world of academia and that your growth will be imminent there. What’s stopping you?

A great jumpstart

If you think academia is only suitable for “people who have their lives completely sorted out”, may I invite you to think again? Academia does not exclude fresh graduates like you. Your lack of experience does not disqualify you from the pursuit of a postgraduate.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Everybody started with inadequate knowledge at one point; that is the whole purpose of studying, no?

In fact, starting postgraduate right after your bachelor’s degree saves a lot of your time as you are fast-tracking yourself into the next level of education – sooner. As you progress in your postgraduate classes, your vision will eventually be clearer. Is academia for you? Are you more interested to work in a corporate setting for a change? The deeper you dig into your research, the more situations you overcome, the clearer your vision will be. Who knows, you might even start a humanitarian project you planned with your fellow postgraduate classmates.

Fresh brains, fresher outcomes

If, right this moment, you are asked to write a short paper for an assignment, do you reckon you’d be able to complete the citation of references accurately in APA or MLA styles? Chances are, your answer is yes. It’s been barely six months since you completed your undergraduate thesis – relevant methodologies are still fresh in your mind! This could help you heaps to adapt to being a postgraduate student.

A common issue that “older” postgraduate students face is the age-old difficulty of adopting and adapting to the academic surrounding that they once knew. Very few professional jobs deal with the formality of research papers and the likes of it – hence the process of relearning can be quite a tough one for older students to transition into. According to some of these students, they even put off completing their citations to the very last minute, even though they completed their papers way ahead of the deadline. All these issues stem from being away from the world of academia for too long a time.

Thus, having been fresh out of undergraduate degree and being somewhat in touch with the student life – getting on with your research planning and completing your citations would be easier for you. Attending classes and camping at the library will become second-nature to you!

Money is the anthem of success

It’s true that money is not everything. But we make things move when we have money, and essentially that is why people work – to get paid. Student loans, bills and rents are monthly headaches for each one of us. Now, where is that fat pay check that we so desperately need?

According to HiredNow &’s 2017/18 Malaysia’s Salary Guide, the starting salary for fresh degree graduates with nil experience in Malaysia ranges from RM1,800 to RM2,900, depending on which field you are in. In comparison to this, someone who enters the working field with a postgraduate qualification would have a minimum starting salary from RM3,000 to RM3,500. Quite a difference there, don’t you think?

It takes approximately one to two years to complete your Master’s degree – depending on your course. As a part-time postgraduate student, it could stretch up to four years. These additional years of studying definitely adds to your credibility, your knowledge, and eventually; it adds to the fatness of your pay check at the end of the day.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg; it’s your turn to go deeper, unveil more and to start carving it into an intricate ice carving for others to see. Good luck!