Posted July 14, 2015 by

Dream vs. Reality: What Happens After Graduation

Happy graduate student in cloak with diploma

Happy graduate student in cloak with diploma. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Congratulations, you’ve made it to graduation. So, what’s next? After three years of university, you’ve increased your knowledge so much that you have become an expert in your field. Now more than ever, you feel ready to face the real world, and hopefully you can become a valuable member of the workforce.

Most graduates would wait for the end of the summer to get started with their job search, but not you. Your career consciousness doesn’t allow you to spend a minute of your time not figuring out a plan for your next move, and working towards your professional goals is your main priority at the moment.

Despite all of your job hunting efforts, however, you find that getting your dream job is not as easy as you hoped. As it turns out, the hardest job for graduates is to find one. So what do you do? How are you planning to take care of your student loans and eventually start your new life as a young adult?

The big question is how do you find a job that a) is related to your field, b) you enjoy, and c) pays well?

While your chances pretty much depend on the subject of your studies, in order to get into the job market, you need to take a good look at all of the available choices, adjust your preferences to ‘fit in,’ and give it your best shot. While it may come as a shock to you, many graduates end up never working in their major. In fact, the majority of graduates don’t get to use their degrees at all, and most feel that they are forced to follow a different direction.

Many graduates choose to do this with the hope that they can find a job that can support them financially while still waiting for the perfect opportunity to come along. If they don’t manage to secure a job within the first couple of months after graduation, they often get discouraged and look for alternatives to their dream job that include a more flexible type of working, getting into seasonal or part-time work or even working full-time in a job that’s entirely irrelevant to their field of studies.

On the contrary, the minority seems to be more confident: they choose to enroll in paid or unpaid internship programs to build on their work experience, and hope the employer recognises their talent as to recruit them as full-time employees in the future.

Either way, both directions should equally be respected as long as they can offer you the career progression you need and can make you happy. But which one is you? Are you going to be part of the majority or the minority?

On a last note, even if you don’t get to use your degree, having studied at a college is of vital importance as this puts you way ahead of the competition. But if you are interested in increasing your chances of landing your dream job, postgraduate studying might be your way out. Take a look at the criteria you should be checking out of your list if you are seriously considering going into a Master’s program:

– The needs of the job market: focusing on the area/country where you are hoping to work in, e.g. relocating after graduation.
– The degrees that are most in demand and new roles that emerge, e.g. green careers.
– Future employment trends and further specialisations in the field of their studies.

Studying towards a degree that can be linked to a variety of career fields and can be easily applied to facilitate everyday living can boost your chances of landing your dream job. Apart from that, however, the secret to making the most of life after graduation is assessing your options effectively and taking initiatives toward developing your professional practice in any way possible.

The good news is that new opportunities are emerging and as the world of work is constantly changing, it makes it easier for new graduates to enter the job market. Prospects are endless and none should claim that having studied a specific subject means that you are going to be confined to working along a narrow career track that offers no future opportunities whatsoever.

Author: Koulla Raouna is an in-house writer at CareerAddict and a career counselor. Check out some more of her work here.

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