Career Tips

What Next After Graduation?

Finishing university can be both an exciting and a daunting prospect. While many new opportunities and adventures begin to appear on the horizon, so too does the unsettling prospect of an immense life change, and the anxieties that go with it.

When you are nearing the end of your degree, the pressure to decide what to do next comes in.

What you do next will depend on your individual goals, interests, and financial situation. It may be helpful to consider your long-term career plans and to speak with a career counselor for guidance.

Consider finding a meaningful job

Finding a job is the approach taken by most graduates. Many students have post-graduation plans in place even during their pre-ultimate year. For them, they already know what it takes to attract hiring managers in the labour market and they consider enrolling in relevant extracurriculars, gaining work experience, and keeping track of big firms while setting goals to come top of their class.

Most of them have career goals that are less defined by profession, but rather influenced by a desire to help people and drive change in the world. Lots of students struggle to buy necessary study materials, pay school fees due to the financial situation of their families. Therefore, they prefer hitting the job market immediately after graduation.

There are certainly plenty of options to choose from after graduation. While postgraduate study sounds interesting, the most fulfilling option for some people will be to get a job and start building their career.

Although this might sound relatively straightforward, the practicalities of searching for a job as a recent graduate are anything but simple.

Attend university career support Programme

Fortunately, some universities have programs that are available for those taking their first career steps. The careers service sends regular emails to students regarding upcoming events and opportunities, organizes careers fairs, which are attended by a variety of employers, and even runs a platform advertising internships during vacation times, as well as graduate job opportunities.

Not all students, however, benefit from this, leading to many missing out.

Consider postgraduate study

Postgraduate study is another popular route taken by many university graduates. Post graduate study program is attractive to those who want to explore their current subject further, or who want to change their direction of study. If a future in academia interests you, enjoy researching and writing, you can continue in the academic research field.

Continuing to pursue education can allow you to specialize further, gain necessary qualifications for jobs, or make a career out of research.

You can apply for scholarships, sponsorships, or research grants. With this, the issue of funds, which sometimes put many students off, will be out of the way. Many students prefer the option of entering the job market in search of jobs because of the economic situation which is affecting their family.

Many people have a clear idea of their “dream job” and the career trajectory they need to take to get there; Figuring out exactly what to do can be a great start.

Gap year

Gap years are also a popular choice — You might want to take time out after graduation to recover from degree burnout and consider a break to recoup your mental health, before focusing attention on getting a job. 

During a gap year, a graduate may travel, take a volunteering role, or pursue personal interests. The idea behind a gap year is to provide an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and real-world experience before committing to further education or a career.

Taking a gap year can be a valuable and enriching experience, providing a chance to develop new skills, gain life experience, and clarify future goals. However, it is important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before making a decision, and to plan the gap year in a way that is structured and purposeful.

But a gap year doesn’t always have to be about travel; it can be a mix of both travel and work.

Internships and work experiences

The job market is highly competitive and you would need to put together a résumé that would stand out. The problem is that gaining relevant experience isn’t straightforward. Internships are a particular sticking point. And while in school or immediately after your graduation, consider gaining relevant skills and online professional certifications.

Then, look online for jobs that fit your interests, build and connect with contacts who already work in the industries that you’re interested in, and do some research on specific organizations and job roles—Talentplat & LinkedIn is a great platform to leverage on when finding internship opportunities and connecting with recruiters.

Choosing between graduate schemes and graduate jobs

Many employers offer graduate programmes.However, they are quite competitive and involve multiple rounds of exams and interviews. The grade you earn at the end of your university course will also determine your success.

Although it may seem intimidating at first, you should view these hiring processes as a learning curve that will help you become a better person. Although you might not be given a position, you are still learning about how graduate recruitment tests are done, which can help you grow better at passing these types of exams and gain a better understanding of what might be expected of you during a similar recruiting process.

Another choice is to find a job after graduating. Instead of test screening results, practical experience is frequently used to determine candidates for these positions. There are more work opportunities for graduates. However, the main disadvantage of entering a graduate job right away is that career advancement is frequently slower than in graduate-scheme employment and pay is frequently lower.

As more grads compete, obtaining a job is far from easy for most graduates in both situations. You must therefore make every effort to differentiate yourself from other graduates. It’s no longer enough to get a degree from a reputable institution.

It’s no longer enough to hold a degree from a good institution; you need to have secured internships and work experience, and have evidence of participation in extracurricular activities, to make yourself stand out.In fact, you’ll notice an increase in the number of “entry level” positions listed online that still require some years of work experience in a highly specialized field. This raises the issue of how a student who has been enrolled in school full-time up until the moment of graduation can possibly hope to land a job when such positions need years of experience.

Be optimistic

Even though it’s simple to become discouraged by such challenges, it’s crucial to keep in mind that everything will probably turn out in the end if you have the correct motivation and perseverance. Although it might have required time and a lot of effort, every single one of the students I spoke with in prior years who were worried about finding employment after graduation today has a job they enjoy.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that, while having a clear professional path in mind is fantastic, it’s equally OK to take your time finding a long-term career path by trying out a variety of jobs while you’re still young.

It might be difficult and daunting to decide what to do after college, but it’s also a wonderful chance to take charge of your future and create career and life objectives that are interesting, satisfying, and fun for you.

Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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