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You've Graduated: What Next?

If you graduated this summer, you’re probably about ready to plan your next step if you haven’t already done so. The world is your oyster; there are many options available to you as a graduate – more so than before you went to university. Here are some options you may have considered and some you probably have not.


Seek a Graduate Job

This is a no-brainer and probably the option you’ve spent most time considering. The overwhelming majority of new graduates each year spend the summer looking for graduate employment opportunities if they do not already have work. From graduate training schemes to full-time, full-pay jobs, you’ll have choices right across the spectrum. Some will require specific degrees but most graduate programmes just expect you to have a degree with a minimum 2:2.


Set Up a Business

The last ten years have been particularly difficult for graduates and high-level executives. It’s no great surprise to anyone that the same period has seen an unprecedented growth in the number of new businesses, start-ups and freelancers. With your new skills and knowledge, there is nothing stopping you from entering the world of work feeling empowered as one of the millions of self-employed. You will need a business plan and a clear idea of what you want to achieve.


Take a Post-Graduate Course

It’s never too late to consider and apply for a postgraduate course of study. That doesn’t necessarily mean a master’s degree. If you don’t want the full-time commitment and stress of an MA/MSc/MRes/MPhil, then consider a relevant postgraduate certificate (PGC). A popular option is the PGCE (PGC in Education) that will allow you to become a teacher. PGCs work to either convert your existing degree to something else or act as a bolt on to enhance your existing skills.


Take a Gap Year

A gap year is still a great way to spend a year before doing any of the above three things. Typically, students who take the time to make the most of their gap year will do one of the following:

  • Travel to see places in the world they may never be able to afford to see once they have a home and a mortgage and all the other things that go with a “normal” lifestyle
  • Work in any job to earn enough money that they can afford to take a postgraduate course the following year. The gap between undergraduate and postgraduate study is enormous not just in terms of academic work, but also financial burden
  • Voluntary work to earn extra skills, to engage with a once-in-a-lifetime experience and meet new people they may never otherwise have met. Plus, some simply like the altruism of helping out people in need