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Study abroad : Career Prospects

5 things to do after graduation

Discover the best things to do after graduation that will help you make plans now that you have completed your studies. Having finished university there are several excellent options you can take as you move on to your next chapter.

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Finishing your university degree and receiving recognition for your achievement is the highlight of any student journey. After a lot of hard work and sleepless nights in the library, it’s finally time to celebrate while also thinking about your next steps. Graduation is an exciting time and completing university may feel like a relief at first, but newfound freedom can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what to do after graduation. But, there are many valuable things to do after graduation and we’re here to take you through some of the options you can explore.


1. Search for a graduate job


Now that you’ve finished your course, you might be thinking of embarking on a career. Getting work experience under your belt is a good idea once you graduate even if you’re not completely sure about what job you want to do. You might search for jobs that relate directly to your field of study or a career that is totally unrelated.


Either way, you’ll need to think about what skills you have gained from your course/degree as well as any internships/work experience you may have undertaken and how these could benefit your future role. If you feel like you need some help and support, visit the careers advisers at your university who will be able to point you in the right direction. It's always good to get some ideas and tips on finding a job as a graduate




Make sure that you understand what is available for international students in terms of work visas and permits. Get more information on work visas and permits for:



2. Develop your CV

One important task to do once you graduate is to make sure that your CV is up to date, professional, and includes all of your grades and the experience that you’ve acquired throughout your degree. Firstly, having this ready and waiting for a prospective employer or recruiter will be useful when you see a job you like and secondly, this will highlight the skills you have so that you can start thinking about a relevant career. You can also check out some of our useful tips and information on writing a CV.




3. Gain graduate work experience


It is reported (UCAS) that two-thirds of employers seek graduates with work experience because it prepares them for the working environment. This experience can also lead to other opportunities, as you will have your foot in the door of that company/organisation. You may have been lucky and had a work placement during your degree or have completed some internships. This will help you in getting further opportunities. 


Check company websites or ask around to find out about other vacancies that you could apply for. Your prospective employers will be impressed that you have taken the initiative. Don’t be afraid to try and explore as many options as you can.


However, the job market is competitive and so by enhancing your skills and experience, you’ll be in a better position when applying. You might also find that some internships and placements are unpaid, which is not ideal but if you can afford it, this is often a way of getting experience that can lead to paid work. That being said, internships tend to cover expenses or pay minimum wage to enable more graduates to apply. Now that you have a qualification, you should compare salaries across different companies to ensure that you are being paid fairly.



4. Apply for a postgraduate course


Not ready to venture into the world of work? Looking to stay in higher education for a little longer? Postgraduate courses can develop your skills and knowledge in a particular field, with some roles actually requiring a master’s qualification. For example, if you want to become a lecturer at a university or an occupational therapist, you will need to specialise with a postgraduate course. This level of study can also improve your earning potential.

Some of the reasons to consider studying for a postgraduate degree include:


  • Improving your career prospects as a graduate 
  • Developing your knowledge and skills 
  • Contributing to your field of interest
  • Personal growth and development


The  UK government’s graduate labour market statistics also reveal that over 70 per cent of postgraduates under 30 years old were in high-skilled roles compared to less than 60 per cent of undergraduates.  


Get more information and details on studying for a postgraduate qualification.




5. Travel after graduating


After a stressful few years at university, you might be ready to take a break completely and fly off to somewhere new. Travelling is a great way to expand your mind, gain perspective and relax. Another huge benefit of travelling is that you will meet people from all over the world who may even become useful connections when looking for jobs, but mainly, it will teach you how to speak and build relationships with new people.


A common misconception is that travelling after graduating is actively discouraged and derided by employers. However, this is not necessarily the case as you can use this time to think about what you want to do and could even volunteer on your travels to show that you did more than just take a long holiday. Travelling can teach you many skills such as managing your finances, organisation, independence and speaking to new people all of which are beneficial skills for work and life.


An important thing to remember is that you should do what you feel is right for your next steps after university and not compare your experience to others. You might have friends who are on graduate schemes, but if you feel you need this time to learn about yourself and your ambitions, then this is a perfect time. The job opportunities will all be there when you return.


Student travelling after graduation


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