Academic dreams:With a postgraduate degree, Afifah hopes to go further in her career.
AFTER Afifah Mohamad Radzi graduated with an English degree from a local university, she felt that she was not quite ready to enter the job market at the age of 23.
The thought of earning her own money and managing her finances seemed overwhelming to her at that time.
Since she had always wanted to take up a postgraduate degree, Afifah thought the best thing to do then was to become a student again, albeit a postgraduate student.
“I thought that if I continued my postgraduate studies immediately, it would be easier for me since I could still remember what I had learnt during my degree,” says Afifah, now 28.
“I had seen my friends who were reluctant to study again after starting work, so I thought it was perhaps a good idea to sign up for a master’s degree as I had plans to pursue an academic career,” she added.
Halfway into her postgraduate studies, Afifah began teaching at a local university.
It then became quite difficult for her to commute between her workplace and the university.
“For almost a year, I didn’t do anything when I was supposed to be working on my thesis ... my postgraduate study was put on hold,” says Afifah.
That led her to make the drastic decision to restart her master’s programme in the university where she is currently working.
“By hook or by crook, I want to complete my postgraduate studies soon.,” adds Afifah.
University counsellor Pratima Sharma advises students to spend at least two years working before pursuing their postgraduate studies.
“Postgraduate studies require a lot of discourse and input from students.
“Due to insufficient work experience, students may not be able to contribute much to the academic discussions,” says Pratima.
“Their thoughts or input towards the case studies will be limited compared to those who have sufficient work experience,” she adds.
Several postgraduate programmes such as the Masters in Business Administration require students to have at least two years working experience although there are some that have no such conditions.
Such requirements and the postgraduate programmes offered vary in each varsity.There are many students who also pursue postgraduate studies part-time.
Compared to undergraduate studies, postgraduate courses demand that students be able to work independently with a high level of self-discipline to complete their thesis.