What to do after university? This is a major question on the mind of most students. Especially if you’re entering the final year of your bachelor’s degree, so the aim of this post is to help make you aware of some of the options available to you. Not only does this allow you to start planning your future, but they’ll be some questions too so you can find out if this choice is right for you.
Why Do You Need To Think About What To Do After University?
The most important reason to do this is because some of these options need you to do things in your final year. Therefore, if you know what you’re aiming for after your degree, you can start to prepare and position yourself for this in the final year. For example, if you want a job after your degree, then looking at how to improve your employability is important.
Speaking of which.
Getting A Job:
After working for three (or however long your degree is) years, you might decide that you don’t want to study for a Masters or PhD and instead you want to get a job. This is the option chosen by the vast majority of students, but still is an option that comes with a lot of considerations.
Whether you get a job in your degree subject or in another sector entirely, the degree you’ve spent years earning demonstrates to employers that you have a lot of transferable skills that might be useful to them. For example, critical thinking, analysis and evaluation skills would be useful to a very wide range of businesses. In addition, even if you realise in your final year (or at any point for that matter) that you don’t want to work in your degree subject area, don’t despair because your degree has still taught you a lot of valuable skills that employers want.
However, the only thing I would say against this option is: where do you want to work?
Sometimes, it is best to work backwards from this option. If the next step in your career has certain requirements, then you can start planning towards achieving these. For instance, if one wishes to work in clinical psychology, they should have some experience working with various clinical groups, whether that’s in a working or volunteering capacity. Thus, this could be an important step for someone to achieve with these career aspirations.
Overall, getting a job and leaving education is a great option to consider.
Ascend To Higher Education:
Technically, you’re already in higher education but we’ll skip over that little detail (it should be higher-higher education). However, if you don’t want to get a job after finishing university, you could continue your education if your life allows it. Future blogs are coming to offer more details on postgraduate courses and how they work.
Personally, this is the option I’ll take because after my psychology degree. I’m intending to do a clinical psychology (mental health) Masters so I can continue my education. Whilst I might not do a PhD, there are still plenty of psychology jobs available with a Masters.
Again, this comes down to working backwards from the job I want, and identifying the next steps I need to take. You need to decide what will help you most and what will you enjoy. For instance, getting a job outside psychology would not be enjoyable to me and would not help my progress in my career. On the other hand, doing a Masters will help me get the jobs I’m more likely to enjoy.
On the whole, if you want or need to continue with your education so you can get the job you want in the future, then doing a Masters, PhD or whatever your subject calls it (I know Law and accounting have some different titles) can be a great idea.
I know plenty of people who just cannot decide what they want to do after their degree. They don’t know if they should get a job, continue with another degree or do something else entirely. Sometimes this is scary to them because they feel like they should know, because surely everyone knows.
So if this is you, then you aren’t alone in these feelings.
Really, you are faced with two options here. The first is try to ‘logic’ your way out of your decision. Do you have a job that you want to end up having? If so, what steps are needed to achieve that? And if this is not the case, then the other option requires patience: wait and see. It is not imperative that you make a decision here and now. In fact, it might be smarter to wait and see how you feel then rushing into something and ending up with more student loans than you ever ended up needing. At some point, a decision might still be needed, but there is no need to rush into this decision. If you need to take a year out, whether that’s for relaxing, travelling, or working and experiencing the ‘post-university’ life, then maybe that’s exactly what you should do.
As I (and thousands of other students) start my final year in September, I know lots of people will be scared by this topic. But hopefully after reading this blog post, you’ll start to have some awareness about the options available to you after you leave university.
Finishing university doesn’t have to be a step into the darkness and unknown. It just has to be something you’ll enjoy and want to do for years to come.
And that’s critical.
Because once you lose the enjoyment and fun in something, what’s the point of doing it for another few decades?
Just bear that in mind and you’ll be fine.