Hi! I have a degree in psychology but I also have 6 years of field experience as a nature guide/ ranger in South Africa and have all the relevant qualifications for that. I have returned to the UK and feel I need to obtain more formal qualifications within the conservation field to further my career.
I have therefore been looking at masters courses there are many that all sound equally interesting. However, I am quite concerned at the employability upon graduation. Should I pay the most attention to the institution, avoid anything too specialised, is it even necessary or will a post grad diploma be sufficient?
My aim is to return back to Africa and get evolved potentially even manage projects out there.
Thanks for your question and being part of Conservation Careers.
Firstly, it’s great you’re looking into a Masters, as conservationists are a clever bunch. When asked what their highest ranking qualification is, survey respondents stated: Doctorate (19%), Postgraduate (42%), Undergraduate (34%) and School level (6%). So you’re joining 61% of professionals who have a Masters or higher.
How to choose the right one for you? I’d encourage you to start with a clear view of what job you’re aiming for, and to work back to the skills and experiences needed for the role. This should help you to better review the courses you’re looking at against the suitability for your needs.
Another approach would be to speak to people doing your ideal role (perhaps from you past experience in Africa) and get recommendations from them on well-suited Masters.
When reviewing masters it’s worth paying attention to courses which provide experience opportunities (placements with potential employers etc) alongside high quality teaching. Placements are a great way to showcase your skills, build your CV and to develop strong networks.
I hope this helps, and do let us know how you get on.