Why Postgraduates Need Emotional Intelligence

Feb 03 2019 | Tags: Emotional Intelligence

Why Postgraduates Need Emotional Intelligence

A postgraduate degree is a great accomplishment that some of us might have experienced or will want to, one day, experience. But is it enough in this day and age to land that dream job?

A study conducted by Cardiff Business School found that students perceived their academic qualifications as having a declining role in shaping their employment outcomes, because of the current congested and competitive market.

In the past, meeting someone with a postgraduate degree was a rare occurrence, however this now happens much more commonly than before. Data from the Higher Education Statistic Agency found that the number of postgraduate enrolments grew by 35 percent between 2000 and 2018 in the UK. But does the increase in postgraduates supply meet the demand for it?

The exponent of the credentials model argues that the rising credentials in no way reflect the demand for more qualified labour. So, although the work force has become more qualified over the years it does not necessarily mean that there has been a greater amount of jobs available for these qualified professionals.

However, emotional intelligence is a powerful set of skills that will enable job applicants to stand out to employers. Emotional capital in the form of emotional intelligence competencies is a valuable asset in every business.

Thus, it is important to prove to your potential employer that you are more than just a piece of paper. You need to demonstrate your abilities as an emotional capitalist which goes beyond the technical skills you’ve gained at university. Rather, it reflects your ability to be intelligent about your emotions and develop the skills to manage your emotions to leverage your personal strengths. In a survey done with more than 2600 hiring managers seventy one percent said that they placed more weight on emotional intelligence than IQ.

Furthermore, it’s likely your emotional intelligence will determine if you will eventually become a leader in your field. Stephen Covey a world renowned author and businessman, said that “Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ in almost every role and many times more important in leadership roles.”

The Emotional Capital model that we have developed, over 15 years of research, will help not only with your career development  but more so with your leadership performance. It consists of 5 broad components.

1. Self-Awareness:

Your capacity to understand your own emotions and be conscious of what you are feeling.

2. Self-Management:

Your ability to manage your own emotions and to have confidence in your personal performance.

3. Social Awareness:

Your aptitude for understanding the experience of others.

4. Social Skills:

This defines your interactions and your knack to get along with others.

5. Adaptability:

Your ability to respond to challenges and adapt to foreign and challenging situations.

The bad news is that the equilibrium of supply and demand is completely skewed with the amount of post graduates in the market. But fortunately, it is still possible to change this by increasing your emotional intelligence, which will make you an asset for any company to have.


Zelda Luitingh



Tomlinson, M. (2008). ‘The degree is not enough’: students’ perceptions of the role of higher education credentials for graduate work and employability. British journal of sociology of education29(1), 49-61.



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