Options after graduating

Tracey Dall
Thursday 11 April 2024

In this post, Eve Handy, one of the Careers Centre’s Peer Support Assistants, provides helpful advice and suggestions on what you can do after graduating.

Graduating with a degree is no small feat, and you should take time to congratulate yourself after several years of studying. However, the thought of leaving university can be daunting as you embark on this life transition. There are a variety of options that you could consider, however we recognise that not all students will be graduating with the same set of circumstances. Here are some ideas of how you could spend your time after graduation.

Find support

You don’t have to figure out your career on your own and it might be reassuring to know that the Careers Centre is here to support graduates for up to three years after graduation.  It’s open all year round and you can book a 1:1 appointment with the team of Careers Advisers and CV Advisers. Appointments could be to be used to explore career options and support with the application process. Once you have graduated, create a graduate account on CareerConnect for continued access to appointments, events and jobs.

You can also use SaintConnect to seek out valuable connections and have conversations with alumni who have already been through the process of graduating and taking the next step in their careers. Specifically look out for connections who use the ‘willing to help’ banner above their profile image.

Find a graduate job

A very popular option after graduating, the application process for these jobs can be quite competitive. However, this work will provide you with invaluable experience and skills. The best positions will provide you with the opportunity to progress your career to a permanent role after the placement ends, providing you a real foot in the working ladder.  Visit our jobs pages for more advice.

Study a postgraduate course

Upon completing their undergraduate degrees, many people further their student career by pursing a postgraduate course. These can greatly increase specialist knowledge in your field, and future employability opportunities and earnings can improve because of it. This option is especially popular for people aspiring for a career in academia and a PhD. Our further study page provides more information on postgraduate courses. 

Work as a research assistant

Universities often employ recent graduates to assist with research. A research assistant’s main role is to support with the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. This experience can be a great addition to a CV, especially if career aspirations include academia or research. Reach out to the university or professors to express your interest and to find out about any available positions.

Take a gap year

If you are in a position to be able to take a gap year it could offer time to think about what you want for your future and key transferable skills such as, communication, language skills and thinking-on-your-feet. You can also try and gain some work experience during this. This will all help your CV to stand out from the crowd. More information on gap years after graduation is available on our website. 

Find an internship

While perhaps not paying the same amount as a graduate job, internships can be brilliant ways of both gaining experience for your CV, and testing out what you want to do with your future career. A further benefit can sometimes even include the offer of a full-time position after completing the internship. The internships page on our website has more information. 

Pursue a passion as a job

The years you put into studying for your degree gave you many transferable skills, such as time management, communication and organisation. You can use these skills to take your passion and turn it into a job. Always loved art? Try marketing and selling it through an online platform.

Gain volunteering experience

Volunteering experience is an excellent addition to your CV and can improve your employability. The experience can also help you gain transferable skills and can often come with the rewarding feeling of contributing to the local community. Additionally, networking through your volunteering position could lead to future employability. More information on this can be found on our charity and voluntary work page.  

Find a seasonal job

Alternating between seasonal jobs can be a popular way to both gain a wide range of experience and to pursue your passions. Seasonal work can include occupations around skiing, summer camps and farming.

Teach English abroad

There are many programs advertising for native English speakers to teach the language in foreign countries. While different programs and countries differ in their qualification requirements, many don’t require teaching qualifications. However, having a degree in a related subject may help with the competitive nature of these applications. Our teaching and education page has more information on this.

Start a business

This can often be the perfect time to take a passion-project or idea and create your own business. While this isn’t an easy feat, there are many resources online to help you create and develop your business plan, using the skills you gained at university to help you. Our starting a business page has lots of information to help you get started.

Take up a part-time job

Many recent graduates are not ready for a full-time job, and finding part-time work in an area you are passionate about is a great way to get there, even if it’s not in the same subject area as your degree. While great for your CV, there is also the potential that permanent opportunities might arise from this. More information can be found on our part-time jobs page. 

Spend time at home

If you are in a position to do so, you could take the time to update your CV, search for jobs and examine their career aspirations. It can also be a great way to rejuvenate after studying for so long.


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