The final week of my Christmas break has been spent trolling through various college websites looking at and reviewing various post graduate courses. The process seems fairly similar to one which I have long forgotten the dreaded CAO form.

When I filled out the CAO form I really thought this is the last step in my education process however four years on I find myself back in a similar situation, which college or university would be best in terms of course offering and location, pulling together all results from my past three years in study, filling out first, second and third choices compiling personal statement forms and posting of postal orders to various application centers. The process above seems similar to that of the CAO.

When I began college I always figured study hard, get a good degree and at the end of it all get the dream job I’ve always wanted. However due to the current economic recession and lack of available jobs particularly at entry level I am forced to become realistic in my plans and prepare a ‘back up plan’ which I have decided to be more study in the form of a masters course.

This decision I have to admit didn’t come easy. So after a long process of researching courses and deadlines and taking to friends who have opted for post grad study I decided to undertake the application forms.

According to many reports the economic recession has resulted in a high rise of applications to post graduate courses. ‘Postgraduate course applications traditionally rise in an economic downturn as people look to increase their qualifications in a more competitive employment market, or put off applying for jobs and study as they sit out the recession.’ (, Tuesday 17 February 2009) These reports lead me to question if the post graduate courses are becoming as competitive as the current job market.

 However in the back of my mind I feel there is always a What If? What if I am lucky enough to secure a job following graduation?, What if the economy picks up and more study suddenly doesn’t seem so appealing? What if I can’t manage to fund the astronomical fees that are attached to these courses? What if I am lucky enough to secure a place in a highly competitive course and realize ‘ok I have already studied for four years do I really want to study some more?’

But then again one day all this study can only benefit my future career in the long run! I’ve always enjoyed the college structure and thoroughly enjoy the learning process and various modules which I would be lucky enough to explore in more detail if I am successful to obtain a place on these courses. As with any next stage in one’s life there are always doubts and I guess it’s important to go with the flow and stick to the saying ‘what’s for you won’t pass you!’