From the minute we leave school and go onto take A-Levels in college, a lot of pressure is placed on whether you should continue working towards your ‘dream’ job with further education. At a very young age we are all pressured to choose a definitive career and put all our efforts into it, when in reality these things change as you experience different things. The path your best friend takes to get to where they want to be may not be the right one for you, and without a crystal ball to see into the future, you’ll just have to follow your gut instinct and ask the question, ‘is higher education right for me?’ First things first, going to university is a really big commitment, and will change your life. So, you need to think about it and weigh up the pros and cons. The required amount of studying for a degree takes three years or more, but most undergrads find that they spend less than 12 hours in a classroom. If you’re going to university then you have to be motivated and proactive. It seems ridiculous but you will feel like the majority your £9,000-a-year tuition fee goes towards you sitting in a library and sifting through endless amounts of books and resources. Alongside this, students graduate university with an average of £44,000 worth of debt, and after the referendum interest rates for student loans are expected to increase to 6.1% by September (iNews). With all the negative media surrounding the real ‘value’ of higher education, the decision to go to university isn’t an easy one. With publications and news platforms stating that 26% of university graduates regret going to university and 45% of graduates end up taking entry level jobs after leaving uni (The Herald) not wanting to become part of that growing statistic is understandable. Ellie Ataie studied anthropology at the University of Southampton and whilst she said that she enjoyed her degree because it was something she was interested in, she wished she’d considered the other ways to get to the current job role she is in. “I chose an interesting degree but with little career prospects after. I wish I had either chosen a degree that would have got me a good job. […] In my current job people join after college and work their way up into managerial level in the same time as if they had gone to university.” However, this completely undermines the many advantages and benefits of going to university that do exist. From gaining independence to be-friending new people and motivating yourself to meet deadlines, university offers more positive experiences than meets the eye. Mali Lewis graduated from Leeds University in 2016 with a degree in Nursing, and has found work in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. “I went to Leeds University and studied for four years, taking a year out for work experience. I had to really push myself and find the work experience placement for a year, as well as studying. People were telling me that going to university would be a complete waste of time, but I wouldn’t be in the job I’m in now without it. It is only a waste of time if you’re not putting all of your energy and effort into it. You should be especially determined when you go to uni.” Pedro Morales Rodriguez studied New Media at Birmingham City University, and agrees. “Work your ass off and have initiative. Create a portfolio and something that will show potential employers what you’ve learned. Understand that there’s a lack of timetable and use that time wisely. It is that time that will differentiate mediocrity from first class.” Getting a job after university takes perseverance and hard work, but nothing is worth doing if it is easy. In order to succeed you need to stay motivated and use your time wisely, otherwise you’ll walk out of university with large debts and little to show for it. Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your time at university and land that job role. Tips to Get a Graduate Job after University
- Get all the work experience you can. Work experience is just as valuable as a degree – a Sandwich course is an excellent way to combine this.
- Use your time wisely and study. University relies on independent learning after all.
- Be proactive and find your own opportunities.
- Go to networking events and meet people in your desired industry.
- Research about the company you want to work for and find out what you can offer them. Make them want to invest in you.
If you are willing to do all of these things, and want new and exciting experiences then university is the right choice for you! Afterall, no education is a wasted education. Have you got anymore tips or tricks for secure a graduate job after Uni? If you do, please get in touch and tell us all about them!