Four ways to explore career options with your degree subject

Person holding a diploma scroll

Person holding a diploma scroll

1. Explore our subject guides

There is detailed information about the typical range of career options that link with your degree subject. Subject options will help in four ways:

  • Provides a good outline of the job roles you might enter
  • Gives tips on how to build experience so you can decide if this job could work for you – and also gives you credibility in the eyes of recruiters
  • Suggests where to find jobs by showing the key sites typically used by recruiters
  • Gives further links to wider job sectors so you can see the whole range of careers that go with your degree subject

2. Connect on LinkedIn


LinkedIn is a great way to follow the careers of people all over the world, but University of Reading alumni are a great place to start. From the UoR home page on LinkedIn you can find the alumni search tool,  and use this to search by degree subject, location, keyword and much more. Looking at the paths other alumni have taken can give you inspiration, and ideas of other job roles and organisations to explore.

3. Talk to a Careers Consultant

Talk to a Careers Consultant to explore what career areas might work for you. This can be incredibly powerful since in practice many graduates don’t go to jobs that necessarily link directly to the subject/s they’re studying. A meeting with a Careers Consultant will help you to explore far beyond the obvious careers and jobs – you might reflect on what really interests you, what you are good at, what you might want to avoid doing and what you will find most rewarding. Together you will come up with a set of career ideas to explore further – and this might include brand new suggestions you’ve never considered before!

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4. Have a go!

For many, the best way to explore career ideas is to go and get some experience. There is no substitute to trying things out! Here are three tips…

  • Start small. Rather than set up a whole placement year to decide if, for instance, Marketing is for you, start by having a chat with someone who does it. Ask them: what do they do, what is good and bad about the role. A simple conversation can be really powerful in helping you decide if this a job that really interests you. If you are in your penultimate year of study the Thrive programme can connect you to a mentor who works in an area that interests you. They can answer your questions, share their experiences and perhaps provide you with further leads to explore.
  • If after having a conversation, you still interested in that job area then take a further step. See if you can work shadow someone for a day or two, or look to gain work experience for a week or so. These kinds of experiences will confirm whether this is a career area of interest or not. Lots of short-term temporary work opportunities are advertised on My Jobs Online. Check out the Reading Internship Scheme for local opportunities that are exclusive to undergraduates at Reading – many of which can be done remotely.
  • Tie it all together. Whether your work experience has confirmed this is a job area for you… or it has put you off come and talk to a Careers Consultant. This will help pin down what exactly is working for you and what is not. And with that knowledge identify either alternative careers or next steps.

Wishing you a good exploration!