Whether you're coming up to graduating from university or have already graduated, you may well be wondering what to do next. After all, you've spent three or four years working towards this point (or longer, counting GCSEs and A-Levels) so it's understandable to be feeling a little lost. There are plenty of options available, though, for what to do next after graduating from university. These are just the main ones.
Find a Graduate Job
Like the majority of graduates, you may want to dive straight into the job market and reap the benefits of all that hard work. A good degree can open a good many doors, even if the job isn't directly related to your degree subject. Employers are often reassured by the evidence that you're capable of learning and applying yourself.
Of course, at the moment the job market is challenging, and as a graduate you may be concerned about whether you'll be able to find a job. However, there are still opportunities for qualified people, and you should be able to find a good opening. One possibility, that has traditionally been largely ignored by graduates, is to apply to SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) where you're likely to have the chance to work more flexibly, gain more varied experience and rise more quickly than in a large corporation.
Volunteering or Internships
If you findgetting the right job challenging and can afford to spend a while without an income, you could either volunteer or apply for an internship. Volunteering tends to be with either charities or public bodies and may involve a wide variety of activities. Volunteering always looks good on your CV, even if it has nothing to do with the job you're applying for. An internship, on the other hand, is a chance to gain both experience and contacts in your target sector. If the placement is successful, the company you're with may possibly offer you a position at the end, but in any case it's a chance to start building your network.
Taking a Gap Year
A gap year doesn't have to be before university — you can also choose to take one between graduation and looking for work. It's the perfect time to travel without commitments and see the places you've always wanted to. And you don't have to be rich — it's possible to supplement your funds by working while you're abroad. You might be concerned that you'll be missing out on job opportunities by not applying straight away, but in fact having experience backpacking around the world can make you attractive to employers. Not only do you have knowledge of countries that may be relevant to their business, but you'll have shown initiative, organisation and self-sufficiency.
If you're not ready yet to stop being a student, there are a great many avenues available for postgraduate study. You may decide to stay at your original university for this, in which case you'll be well placed to find out about the possibilities. However, you may prefer to study elsewhere. Perhaps another university has better postgraduate facilities for your subject, or perhaps you just want a change. This could include studying abroad, which would broaden your experience and outlook.
Starting a Business
If you don't fancy working for someone else, many graduates are now starting their own businesses. With so manybusinesses being conducted online these days, it's easier than it's ever been, although that doesn't mean you don't have to put planning and effort into it. There are start-up training firms in most areas that will be able to help you get off the ground.
So what's the best kind of business to start? The answer is simply the one that you can feel excited about. However, if you want to directly use your degree, you might choose to set yourself up as a private tutor in your subject. After lockdown's disruption to education, there's more demand than ever for tutors. Register with TutorExtra to find out more about your opportunities.