As you are approaching the end of your studies or have already graduated, you have probably been thinking “What next?” Friends and family have likely asked what your plans are for your future and you may be sitting there thinking, “I really haven’t a clue”. If you have come to visit us here then you must have decided that you want to begin your career, so here are a few options open to you.
Your careers team have probably been hounding you with emails and advertising jobs fairs on all the graduate programmes that are out there in a whole host of different industries. Graduate programmes are a great way to start your career as they are tailored to recent graduates and are designed to be a supportive, structured learning environment that allows you to get into the world of work in an accessible format. These programmes can last from 12 months up to 3 years and often involve rotations across departments; for example if you were applying for a Business Management programme you would likely spend a few months in Human Resources, then Finance, Operations, and Sales etc. This gives you a chance to explore the different avenues you can go into within your field without having to commit to one job role like you would in an ordinary job. On top of this, these schemes often involve relocating if they are with a larger company, allowing you to gain experience not only from working in different job roles but exploring new towns, cities and in some cases a different country! For graduates that have not fully decided on the job role they wish to start in but have an industry in mind, graduate programmes are a fantastic way of gaining experience and helping you decide where you want to take your career after studying. If you aren’t so keen on travelling, there are plenty of programmes that do not require you to relocate but be sure to check the job description thoroughly, so you aren’t caught out after applying. Be aware that many of these programmes are highly sought after and their recruitment process may take several months including psychometric tests, assessment centres and both telephone and face-to-face interviews. Another drawback is that these roles are often advertised early in the academic year and have set application windows as well as set start dates, so if you wait around too long you will have missed the deadlines.
Graduate and Entry-level Jobs
Perhaps you already have a job in mind that you think your skills and experience are suited for. Graduate jobs are those that require a minimum of an undergraduate degree to fulfil the skills required of the role. Some graduate jobs are entry-level roles whereas some are not. Entry-level jobs are those towards the lower end of the employment ladder – many graduates will not have the breadth of experience required to start off in higher positions however having a degree behind you can help you climb the ladder quicker. Entry-level jobs can be less competitive than graduate programmes and you won’t be competing with hundreds of other graduates coming from similar backgrounds, so you might have an edge when it comes to applying to these types of roles. On the downside, entry-level jobs often pay slightly less than a graduate programme, however the hiring process tends to be less rigorous and companies tend to hire all year round so you can expect to apply and start a position at any point in the year. These types of graduate jobs are often less obviously advertised than graduate schemes, so you may need to hunt around a bit more to find the one that is right for you.
Struggling to find a job and want to build up your skills and experience? Internships are a fantastic way to improve your employability and gain vital skills for your future career. Internships can last anything from a few weeks up to 12 months, with many of those lasting longer than a few weeks offering a salary. Many graduates struggle to gain employment straight out of education as they lack the vital work experience many employers are looking for. To make you stand out from the crowd, internships can boost your CV and if you do well in your internship, the company may even offer you a permanent job afterwards. During your internship, make sure to find out as much as possible about the different areas of the company and possible career paths, discover what you like and don’t like, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and network! Growing your professional network can increase your chances of getting a job, so be sure to connect with employees, stakeholders, and other interns as you never know how useful this connection may be in the future. At Careersaas, we have a dedicated internships search page to find the best role for you!
Now you know the different options available to you, why not head on over to our Jobs page and see if you can find your next role today.