Students coming up to their final undergraduate exams often ask me for advice about doing a Masters - specifically if it will give them a better chance of a job. Last week I also posted about if a postgraduate degree is necessary to get a job. Since then I have come across an article in The Independent (UK version) that London Zoo was "under fire for advertising job vacancy seeking ‘unpaid intern with a Masters degree". No - the internship was not about shovelling shite, but was for part of a conservation project that relies on volunteers to get the work done. The job ad (since removed from ad agency) stated that applicants should have "undergraduate or Masters level degree". The article further goes on to put the Zoo under fire for this because it is based in London where the cost of living is very high, and therefore would exclude everyone except those whose families "have the financial means to support" them.
|Image source: London Zoo.
If a Masters graduate is passionate about conservation and animals - I don't see anything wrong the with advertising the position as done by the London Zoo. However, it is an indicator of the ever higher qualifications required for some positions - perhaps in the future a similar ad would look for a PhD student.
Students have to manage their own expectations when it comes to job - expecting to walk into a 50 grand a year job is not a practical expectation. I'm a supporter of internships whether paid or unpaid - vital experience is gained that otherwise might not occur. Students of all qualifications should consider it as just one step of many on the road to a career of their choice.