With graduation day approaching, most students feel a swell of emotion. Looking back on all that they’ve achieved in the preceding three of four years, students are certain to feel proud of their academic achievements and how they’ve matured, a fondness for the university that has taught them so much, and excited apprehensive on what the future may hold.
It may seem daunting, but as that graduation date approaches, it becomes clear that one chapter in life is closing and another exciting chapter is about to begin. Coming to the end of a three or four- year university course is a time to reflect, and then move forward. You could undertake a postgraduate course, join the workforce, or even go travelling.
For any graduate student considering what the future may hold for them, here’s an overview of what students should know as after they’ve triumphantly tossed that graduation cap in the air and departed the university grounds wearing your custom hoodie.
Get A Job
With years of academic toil now completed, most graduates choose to enter the workplace. Students can get great advice on their options post-graduation from university careers services. These services offer great support and advice for graduates who want to understand their vocational options.
Graduates also have a range of online resources that offer valuable insight and information to help them to get a job once they have graduated. These resources provide advice on everything that graduates need to know, from how to write an attention-grabbing CV to interview techniques.
Taking a proactive approach to job hunting is one of the most effective ways to secure a job quickly once graduated. Finding a job may take longer than initially anticipated, but by making themselves known to potential employers, networking and managing online reputations, graduates can put themselves in a strong position to secure a great job.
Then, having secured a position, there’s nothing stopping graduates from taking some time to celebrate accomplishments, have some fun, relax and look forward to the start of their working life.
If graduates haven’t yet secured a job, they can choose to undertake volunteer work. Not only does this look great on a CV, but it serves great preparation for entering full-time, paid work.
Those considering volunteering after their graduation date may be surprised to learn that you can work anywhere in the world. Raleigh International, for example, is a charity that empowers young people to positively affect communities across the world. They run several structured and supportive programmes, each designed to help young people to gain valuable life skills such as teamwork and leadership, broaden their horizons, and experience different cultures across the world.
Anyone between the ages of 17-24 with a desire to make a difference to the world is welcome to participate in the programmes. Graduates of any degree discipline are welcome. Programmes start in the autumn, spring and summer with graduates able to volunteer in some of the most exotic and exciting locations in the world, including Borneo, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Nepal and Tanzania.
Students who are considering volunteer work in any capacity can find practical advice and guidance from the university careers development teams.
Alternatively, once students graduate university, they can choose to undertake a further post-graduate study. This route can be rewarding and provide graduates with enhanced academic knowledge or specific qualifications to help them excel in their chosen career.
Attaining on a Masters degree, for example, looks highly impressive on a CV, and can be very attractive to employers. However, graduates should remember that any further study should be completed with the right intentions. If graduates are unsure if they’re ready to enter the workplace, or have little idea about what it is they want to do after graduating, they should carefully consider their options before committing to a period of further study.
It should also be noted that a Masters degree may or may not be helpful for long-term career aspirations. Further study is also expensive and doesn’t guarantee that graduates can secure the job of their dreams. Graduates that aren’t 100% sure they wish to undertake further study should speak to a careers advice service.
A Gap Year
Whether you want to see more of the world, learn new skills, or just take some time for yourself before moving into further study or the workplace, incorporating a gap year into any graduation planner provides young people with a chance to see the world – an opportunity that they rarely have at any other point in their lives.
Deferring entering a postgraduate course or joining the workplace for a year, a gap year allows young people to gain valuable life experience, mature and learn new skills.
Traditionally thought of as a luxury for the privileged few, today an increasing number of graduates from all walks of life take a gap year upon graduating. Graduates can choose from a range of gap year programmes that offer diverse and unforgettable experiences, including expeditions to Kenya or Malawi, working on a farm in Australia or just taking in sunnier European climates.
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