What to do when you finish university
Finishing University is an exciting time. With a degree, you can apply for a job or graduate scheme immediately, or stay in education to do some post graduate study.
Where to get advice
Your University has a careers department. You can book an appointment to get support and look at your options even after you've graduated. Use this valuable resource to help you make a plan.
Be open minded
Lots of vacancies and graduate schemes ask for a graduate, but do not specify a degree discipline. You can use this to your advantage as it will give you more opportunities.
Decide where you want to live
If you studied for your degree away from home, decide if you’d like to stay there, return home or live somewhere else.
The best opportunities might not be where you want to live in the future. Think about how short-term choices might be beneficial in the long term.
What your options are
Now you have a degree, a lot more vacancies are open to you.
A graduate job could be the right choice if you:
- know where to search and apply for vacancies
- know where in the world you want to work
- have found there are vacancies available in the subject you want to go in to
- have the experience and skills needed to get a graduate job
- have a CV you can use to apply for vacancies
Graduate schemes usually have a set time for training and ‘on the job’ practice. A graduate scheme won’t guarantee you a job, but it is a way of improving your CV and starting in the sector you want to work in.
A graduate scheme could be the right choice if:
- you know where to find and apply for opportunities
- you need to build your skills and experience before getting the job you want
- there are schemes in the location you want to live
- you know what you want to do after you have completed a graduate scheme
Postgraduate study including a masters degree
Postgraduate study is necessary for some careers, such as Law and Psychology, or you might just want to study a subject in more depth.
Studying for a masters degree takes time and money, so it’s important to think carefully before you start.
Post graduate study could be the right choice if:
- you need to study further for the career you want
- you've thought about the financial implications of post graduate study
- you're keen to study a subject in more depth
A gap year is an opportunity for you to get skills and experiences, while having time to reflect and plan your next steps. You might feel you need a break from study, or you might plan your gap year to support you career plans.
A gap year could be a good choice if you know:
- what you want to achieve
- how will you cover your expenses
- what you will do when your gap year is over
- how will you spend your time
For more information, read the UCAS guide: Gap years - ideas and things to think about.
How to get help with your finances
You will have to start paying back your student loan when you reach the threshold for the repayment plan you are on.
If you're looking for a job, find out if you can claim Universal Credit.