A Brighter Future What should you do after graduating from university?

What should you do after graduating from university?

What should you do after graduating from university?

What should you do after graduating from university?

Earning a degree from a university and being recognised for your accomplishment is the pinnacle of every student’s life. Now that you've put in a lot of effort and spent many sleepless nights in the library, it's time to celebrate and consider your next move.

The time leading up to graduation is exhilarating, and you may initially feel relief upon completing university. However, the freedom that comes with it can be overwhelming, particularly if you don't know what to do with yourself. That said, you can still do many worthwhile activities once you graduate, and we're here to walk you through some of your options.

1. Work on your resume
Ensuring that your resume is current, polished, and contains all your grades and experience earned throughout your degree programme is crucial after graduating. First, having your resume available and ready for a potential employer or recruiter will be helpful when you come across a job that you are interested in. Secondly, this will highlight your skills so that you can begin considering a career that is appropriate for you.

2. Apply for a job
After completing your degree programme, consider taking up a job. Even if you're unsure of the type of job you want to pursue after graduation, gaining work experience of any sort is still a good plan. Look for work that is indirectly related to your field of study, or something that requires similar skills.

In any case, you must consider the skills you have acquired through your education, including any internship or work experience you may have had, and how these might apply to your future career. Should you encounter stumbling blocks, our career advisors at JCU will be able to offer you some much-needed assistance and support; get in touch, and they will be able to point you on the right path.

3. Sign up for JCU’s career services
These days, most college campuses have a Career Services department that provides career assistance. Career service offices help students with almost every aspect of their professional lives, from reviewing resumes to assisting them in choosing the careers they want to pursue after graduation.

At JCU, our career services offer our graduates links to employers, internship opportunities (where possible), mentorship programmes, and other valuable resources. Additionally, our career service office offers various advisory services, from boosting students' employability (by improving CVs, communication skills, and soft skills) to empowering technological aptitude.

4. Pursue a postgraduate degree
Not yet ready to step foot in the workplace? Interested in continuing your studies in university a little longer? It’s worth noting that your knowledge and skills in a specific area can be developed through postgraduate coursework, and some positions actually call for a master's degree. Furthermore, your earning capacity can also be increased by furthering your studies to a postgraduate level.

At JCU, we offer postgraduate degree programmes that can be taken part-time or full-time to accommodate our graduate student’s time and requirements. Popular courses to take include Master of Business Administration, Master of Guidance Counselling and Master of Psychological Science (Majoring in Business Psychology).

These are some benefits of pursuing a postgraduate degree:

  • Enhance your graduate employment chances
  • Improve your skills and capabilities
  • Advance your area of expertise
  • Personal progress and growth

5. Take short courses/part-time certifications

You may have just completed your degree, but the learning journey is a lifelong process, and to stay competitive, you may have to constantly upskill yourself.

While waiting for interviews and employment opportunities, why not sign up for short courses or part-time certifications to add more feathers to your hat? Through short courses, adult learners can explore new interests for personal enrichment, and learn new information and skills for professional development. These quick courses help adult learners advance, no matter where they are in life.

As a subsidiary of James Cook University in Singapore, James Cook Institute offers a wide range of short courses in information technology, digital marketing, communication, and more — to help working adults upgrade their skills and remain relevant and employable in today’s ever-changing world.

6. Travel
You might be prepared to take a full break and travel somewhere new after a stressful few years at university. If you can afford it, travelling is a great way to broaden your thinking, gain perspective, and unwind before jumping into the working world. Travelling also teaches you how to communicate and forge relationships with new people. You will meet people from all over the globe who may even prove to be helpful contacts when looking for work.

It's a prevalent misconception that employers actively discourage travelling after graduation. This isn't always the case, though, as you can use this time to consider your options and even engage in volunteer work while travelling to demonstrate that you did more than simply take a lengthy vacation. Travelling can also teach you various skills useful in your job and life, such as budgeting, planning, and communicating with new people.

Whatever your plan is after graduation, remember to follow your instincts regarding your next steps and avoid comparing your experiences to those of others. Even though some of your friends may already be signing up for postgraduate programmes or starting off in a new career, you should not rush the process. Now is the time to discover who you are and what you want to do with your life. Do take your time and reward yourself for having graduated from university!

Published 8 Aug 2023