The Best Postgraduate Studies to Take for a Mid-career Switch

By the SMU Social Media Team

So you’ve been making waves in the workforce for a couple of years now or even a few decades. Maybe you’re comfortable with what you’re doing but you’ve reached your peak and can’t seem to get out of that rut. Or perhaps you’ve come to realise that what you have is merely a job, not a career you can be passionate about for the rest of your working life.

It’s not uncommon for working professionals with a wealth of experience in their selected fields to toy with the idea of veering off into a completely different career path. One thing’s for sure – a mid-career switch, whether in terms of job scope or industry, is definitely not easy and can be daunting, even. Sure, certain experiences remain relevant and some skill sets are transferable, but it takes lots of guts to tackle that steep learning curve when pursuing a new career.

Before you take the leap of faith and dive headfirst into uncharted waters, equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and practical tools to cruise into your new career path and propel yourself to the top of your field through a rigorous post-grad programme. Take it as an investment in your future as you enhance your job prospects in a new industry by acquiring postgraduate qualifications.

Ready to embark on a journey of learning and self-discovery? Here are some of the best programmes you can take at SMU to lay the foundation before you build your new career.


Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Designed to shape executives and managers into versatile and dynamic leaders, the 12-month full-time or 18-month part-time programme will launch your leadership trajectory by honing both your hard and soft skills. You will not only learn to think critically, strategise, research, analyse business decisions, and execute plans, but also to understand yourself and others, communicate, collaborate, negotiate, network and lead with confidence. Find out more here.


Master of Science in Communication Management (MCM)

Good communicators are essential in any field, and an MCM programme is definitely loaded with possibilities for the mid-career switcher. Accelerate your career progress with this 15-month part-time programme. Aimed at nurturing leaders and innovators to excel in different business environments, learn how to play a strategic communication role in organisations and manage integrated communication across different cultures and media platforms. With plenty of opportunities to network with the best communication experts and practitioners, the programme opens the doors to new career possibilities. Find out more here.


Juris Doctor Law Degree (JD)

If you already have undergraduate degrees in other disciplines but considering becoming a legal specialist in Singapore, this is just the programme for you. With a focus on experiential learning through regular talks by legal practitioners and mooting experience, this full-time three-year meritorious honours programme also includes a compulsory internship at a law firm or the legal department of Government-linked corporation.

Those who are concerned about the steep learning curve and embarking on a career in law can rest easy. Said Mr John Tan who spent a decade in the international banking industry prior to entering the programme: “The SMU JD programme, being highly rigorous and well regarded by the legal profession, was instrumental in enabling me to make a mid-career transition from my previous senior banking roles in derivatives structuring to this legal position. Importantly, international law firms and banks were also very receptive to the combination of the SMU JD degree with my prior relevant work experience, post-graduate degrees in financial engineering and applied finance, and Honours degree in economics.”  Find out more here.


Master of Professional Accounting (MPA)

The accounting sector is changing. While the old belief that “every company needs an accountant” still rings true, Singapore is now looking beyond that with the aim of becoming a leading global accountancy hub in Asia Pacific. With this vision set in motion, more pathways have also been created to facilitate the entry of individuals from non-accountancy disciplines. In fact, individuals with strong business and technical skills will find that the SMU MPA curriculum provides the necessary knowledge to help them become more versatile and competent business leaders. The programme even offers the flexibility of either a two-year part-time programme or a one-year full-time basis.

So whether the intention is to become an accounting professional, start a new business, or climb up that corporate ladder in a new field, you’ll find that accounting is one of the languages of business. Find out more here.



Besides the four postgraduate programmes we’ve introduced so far, there are certainly many more options available to consider – Master of Human Capital Leadership, MSc in Innovation, MSc in Applied Economics, Master of IT in Business, just to name a few.

Every one of SMU’s postgraduate professional programmes is rigorously formulated by experts to provide holistic learning in an active learning environment. Each programme is a union of practical real-world applications with a sound foundation in theory. So don’t fall into the trap of a dead-end career – find ways to up your game and don’t be afraid to take the plunge when it comes to learning something new.

Find out more about SMU’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes here.