Careers Service

What can you do with your degree?

A broad overview of your career options and information on the destinations of University of Edinburgh postgraduates.

This page gives an overview of broad options after a postgraduate degree, information on destinations of University of Edinburgh graduates, plus some insight into how to make career decisions.

Options with your degree

There are many options open to you once you complete your degree. If it was a vocational degree or the subject links to certain career areas then it may help you to pursue a specific career direction. You will also still have access to the wide range of options available at the end of your undergraduate degree.

Although many graduate jobs will not specify that you need a postgraduate degree, the experience of completing your degree will enable you to market yourself for those opportunities more confidently and hopefully more successfully.

Your broad options on graduation include:

Employment related to your postgraduate degree.

If you would like to explore career options or identify potential employers in different employment sectors the Occupations section of our website provides access to a wide range of careers resources.

If you need some inspiration on the possibilities linked to your subject then Options with your subject provides a useful starting point:


Options with your subject

Graduate employment unrelated to the subject of your postgraduate degree.

See the Occupations section of the website to explore different career areas, or look at our job search pages for information about graduate recruitment:


Job search

Further study

Commonly a PhD or a further taught postgraduate degree which is linked to a specific career area. See 'moving on to a PhD' or our further study pages to find out more:

For ideas on how to spend your time out productively including travelling or working see our Time Out pages:

Graduate destinations

All UK universities carry out a survey of their graduates six months after graduation. The data provides a useful picture of the many and varied paths that people embark on after graduation and can be a good way for you to generate career ideas. You can see individual data from your course showing job and employer names below:

University of Edinburgh Graduate Destinations

The 2013/14 University of Edinburgh graduate destinations survey showed:

  • 76% of taught postgraduates entered work after graduation.
  • 90% of those in work were working in graduate-level jobs. This compares to 82% of first degree graduates.
  • 74% said their qualification was either a formal job requirement, or it gave them an advantage.
  • Average starting salary for taught postgraduates was £24,900, compared to £23,700 for first degree graduates.
  • Nearly 11% taught postgraduates went on to further study after graduation.
  • 66% of those in further study were registered for a higher degree by research, most commonly a PhD.

For an overview of UK wide masters graduate destinations see ‘Your Masters...what next?' on the Prospects website:

Making career decisions

There are many options open to you once you complete your postgraduate degree but how do you decide which route to take? Career decision making is all about knowing yourself, knowing what's out there, making plans and then implementing them.

  • Self-awareness; knowing what it is you want from a career and what you have to offer an employer
  • Opportunity awareness; researching different occupations, employers, the job market, further study or training opportunities
  • Decision-making; weighing up pros and cons of options against what you know about yourself, assessing how realistic your choices may be
  • Taking action; identifying vacancies, making well-targeted job applications, preparing for interviews and other selection methods.

To get more help with this see the career planning section of our website: