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What to do once you have graduated?


Not all undergraduates decide to work straightaway, many decide they need either further qualifications or some experience of work first. Lots of students see the time immediately after graduating as the once in a lifetime opportunity to travel and see the world.

There are various options you can pursue
The reasons for doing further study vary. The main ones usually cited by postgraduates themselves are:

• ‘It was an essential requirement for my intended career.’ (For example, teaching, law or for many arts and humanities students)
• ‘I always wanted a doctorate.’
• ‘I was offered a place and a grant, so I accepted.’

For many students though, further study is not an option because of financial limitations and worries about getting into more debt. According to some studies, 10 per cent of students with debts had not been able to fund further postgraduate study and had gone straight into jobs instead and 15 per cent of graduates said debts meant they had to take the first job offered.

Taking time out for a holiday or to travel the world can be an excellent idea, but make sure you have thought about:
• What you want to do, achieve and learn
• What your resources are, what the financial implications will be for you
• What happens next, think about what you will do when you get back, before you go!

Time now for a reality check. Most surveys indicate that graduates are leaving university with heavy debts. Only one in ten new graduates left university without owing money borrowed during their period of study with the average debt rising almost year on year.

Many graduates accept “fill in” jobs after graduation. Some studies have found the proportion of students expecting to take what is euphemistically termed ‘other work’ to be as high as 20-25 per cent. Clearly, many students recognise that the first job they take after graduation may not be linked to their idea of a career. This choice may be due to debt or other personal circumstances.

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