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How a research degree can boost your career trajectory

Become a change-maker in your field with a UniSQ research degree.
unisq lecturer meg edwards standing in front of a nature background

Ready to be a change-maker in your field and skyrocket your career? A University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) postgraduate research degree is your path to making a real impact –shaping your career and the world around you.

Why choose a research degree?

The unique thing about a research degree is that it allows you to specialise, says Dr Meg Edwards, a UniSQ lecturer and researcher in wildlife science. “You can focus on an area that you’re really interested in or answer a research question that you might have had burning for years!” she says.

“It’s different to the ‘typical’ university degree because it’s not focused on classes and assessments; rather, you’re completing a research project – usually from start to finish. That means it can be really exciting to start with designing the experiment and research question, going out and collecting the data, and then analysing it and writing up the results.”

Where can a research degree take you?

A UniSQ research degree is your gateway to a future rich in opportunities. Immerse yourself in a field you're passionate about and be mentored by researchers and partners to help create world-changing results.

You'll gain skills that make you invaluable across various sectors – such as industry, government, business, or academia – opening doors to diverse career paths such as:

  • Research analyst
  • Policy advisor
  • University professor
  • Corporate strategist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Consultant
  • Project manager
  • Research and development manager
  • Bioinformatician
  • Intellectual property consultant
  • Market research director
  • Public policy analyst.

How a research degree can help you get ahead

There are various ways a research degree can help you to move forward in your career, including:

  • Upskill to excel in a competitive job market. A research degree from UniSQ doesn't just make you a master in your chosen field – it equips you with the skills you need to excel in the competitive job market and specialised roles that require advanced education.
  • Increase your earning potential. Did you know UniSQ graduates have the highest starting salaries in Australia? Also, those who decide to do a postgraduate degree earn a starting salary that’s $10,000 higher than their undergraduate counterparts. This yearly salary bump underscores the financial benefit of pursuing a postgraduate degree with us.
  • Preparing yourself for a successful career change. A research degree with UniSQ can give you the confidence to transition into an exciting new industry. You'll gain specialised and sought-after skills that equip you to step into a new sector or role you’ve been contemplating.
  • Grow your network and stand out. Being a well-connected postgraduate student gives you a networking edge over other candidates. Your time at UniSQ helps you forge strong professional relationships within and beyond the academic community, building your network and opening the door to new career prospects and sector-specific insights.

Esther discovered an unexpected career path

Esther Anderson fell in love with anthropology during their first year of university. After completing their undergraduate degree and honours, Esther was immersed in the research landscape and studied for their Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

“I didn't know from the outset that I wanted to become an anthropologist or researcher. A PhD has helped direct me towards a pathway that I didn't even know existed or was possible,” Esther said.

Esther has since presented their UniSQ PhD research at multiple anthropology conferences, both internationally and within Australia.

“The connections I've made with other people in the discipline have transformed, not just into potential collaborations, but into incredible friendships,” said Esther.

It's totally achievable to balance your life and study

Are you hesitating because of a busy schedule? We understand that life gets busy – that's why we give our postgraduate students the option to study 100% online.

With access to all materials 24/7, this flexibility allows you to tailor your study time around your day job, family commitments, or even your most productive late-night hours.

Most online postgraduate courses involve a combination of lectures, seminars and practical experience or research opportunities.

Taking charge of how you study makes it easier to stay on track and avoid burnout. With 75% of UniSQ students opting to study online and a supportive, vibrant online community, you'll be in good company.

Opportunities to go further with UniSQ

At UniSQ, you can connect with the academic world, expert professionals and the broader community. Become a lifelong learner and develop the skills to apply your knowledge to real-world problems to become an innovator and create change in your field.

While studying, you’ll have the opportunity to create a professional network that can serve you throughout your career, via study groups, partnerships and community projects. Rise above and beyond to become a change-maker in your respective field.

When it comes to choosing a research topic that can take you further, Dr Edwards advises that it’s important to be enthusiastic about what you’re committing to research.

“Chances are you’ll be spending a number of years on the project, and so it has to be something you’re really interested in,” she says. “It can also help to be self-driven and organised, as you’re in charge of the project and making sure milestones are met. There are always tools to help with this, though, if you feel like that sounds challenging!”

UniSQ research students are passionate self-starters who don't just absorb the knowledge they’re offered. They seek to learn more all the time, analyse what they hear and see, and apply it to solve real-world problems, making them innovators and change-makers in their respective fields.

What research degrees are available at UniSQ?

At UniSQ, our research areas tackle today's most pressing real-world challenges and offer postgrads access to top facilities and expert mentorship. You can choose to study a Master of Research or a PhD, exploring research across a variety of UniSQ topics, including (but not limited to):

  • Astronomy
  • Agricultural science
  • Computer science
  • Creative arts
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing and midwifery
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sport and exercise
  • Statistics.

Our current students are doing remarkable research in fields such as:

  • Fire-retardant composite coatings
  • Global brain network modelling and deep learning technology
  • Thermal engineering for space transducers
  • And many more!

Why choose UniSQ for your postgrad journey?

We believe we are the right place to make real progress. UniSQ stands out for its world-class research facilities, flexibility, and support. We’re rated 5-stars for graduate starting salary and full-time employment (Good Universities Guide, 2024), and our postgraduates' overall satisfaction rates place us in Australia’s top 10 universities.

We also do award-winning research with real-world impact, and with 50+ national and international industry partners to collaborate with, we're the perfect place to make your dream career a reality.

“UniSQ has a great diversity of researchers doing projects on so many different topics, from environmental projects, to space, to health research,” says Dr Edwards. “Doing a research degree through UniSQ means you can collaborate with world experts through a variety of research centres and institutes. These centres also run events for students, and the university provides great support for students as they work through their degree.”

Want to learn more? Visit UniSQ Research Degrees to start your research degree journey, or talk to our team for further information.