What are my next steps: knowing the career opportunities open to you at the University of Reading
For anyone studying at university this year, regardless of your academic stage, a constant consideration must be about knowing the career opportunities available to you in order to make an informed next step. With this being said, it is crucial that you make the most out of the facilities and opportunities available to you at the University of Reading in gaining work experience or pursuing further academic study. This is true irrespective of your year of study (the earlier you consider these things the more informed & prepared your applications will be), with opportunities ranging from internship schemes and placements to graduate schemes and a part time officer role. Below are examples of some outlined options available post-graduation.
Some people may decide to study a master’s degree to immerse themselves further into a subject they have enjoyed at undergraduate level. Other motivations include increasing employability and also developing further experience of independence before entering the world of work.
Some things to consider include:
- Picking the right course is crucial, for example if your intended career path changes and a highly specialised course was chosen, the master’s degree may become irrelevant
- Attaining funding; a postgraduate loan is offered only once in bulk (for both the tuition fee and any living maintenance costs) by the government so the nuances of financing a master’s degree become more complex
- Applying successfully, a process based on grades achieved through study at undergraduate level, tutor references and effectively broadcasting your motivations for application
- Still gaining work experience alongside study as attaining tangible working experience considered a crucial aspect of a successful job application for employers
- The ability to accept multiple offers until the best offer is received, theoretically this gives you the ability to view offers as close to the start of the course as possible in order to choose the best programme for you.
Vocational course applications post-graduation
After finishing a degree, you may have discovered over the course of your time that converting into a vocational career such as law, teaching or even medicine is something that appeals to you. Maybe you always had this intention from the beginning of your degree, either way this option is also available upon graduation.
Things to consider include:
- Funding involved
- Delayed entrance into the working world
- Necessary if you decide you want to pursue a vocational career
- Difficulties and competitiveness of being accepted onto and then completing a vocational conversion course after your undergrad degree
Graduate scheme applications
A graduate job is often the most common step for people upon graduation. This is an entry into a company at a training level which sets you up to potentially be one of the future high performers at the firm. Even if you are in first year, considering your desired industry and role and analysing the graduate opportunities that your ideal firm offers will put you in an preliminarily advantageous position.
Considerations for grad scheme applications:
- Graduate scheme application process begins early, most schemes open between August and close by December
- Research in detail what you want from a career post-graduation based
- Research the companies within your industry and match your skills to employers
- Incredibly competitive therefore gain early experience with the different aspects of application process; Assessment centres (including group tasks, group presentations, interviews and game-based assessments), application forms and aptitude tests
- The University provides updates on applications through regular emails from TargetJobs
With this information in mind, initial places to check include MyJobsOnline and LinkedIn to stay on top of opportunities which become available. Whatever you decide are your next career stages, it is important to gather information early, to ensure you make the best decision possible.
Written by Julius Ojo-Adegboye