Should Your Degree Define Your Graduate Career Choice?


If you have recently finished your degree or are approaching the end of your studies the question you and your friends and family members will be asking is “what’s next?” What will your graduate career choice be?

After 3 years or more of hard study and dedication to one subject, moving out into the “real world” and starting a new career can be both exciting and daunting. If your subject does not point to an obvious career choice then you may find yourself wondering what you can do, what options are open to you?

When considering your graduate career choice you should remember that not every philosophy graduate becomes a professional philosopher and acquiring a music degree doesn’t always lead to being a world-renowned musician. Whether you are interested in pursuing a career that is related to your subject or not, you should try to keep an open mind.

So, before deciding that you can’t make a decision about your graduate career choice and instead should start enrolling on different courses and master’s degrees, consider the facts:

Graduate Career Choice

There are plenty of choices available no matter what degree you have done!

If you put yourself in the position of an employer, you will see that it is better to employ a person based on their transferable skills that they will have picked up during their degree no matter what subject they did.

If you have completed a degree, here’s a few transferable skills that you are likely to have:

Teamwork: If you joined any societies or sports teams or collaborated on group projects then you will have developed teamwork skills. You may have even held additional positions of responsibility in societies/groups which gives you leadership skills to brag about as well.

Communication: You have probably given presentations and joined in with seminar discussions during university, therefore you should know how to communicate your ideas effectively. Writing essays and structuring your ideas or arguments in them shows that you also have written communication skills.

Time management: You can’t get through university without meeting numerous deadlines. This would have involved planning your time effectively and also working under pressure (hello end of the year deadline and exam stress).

Research skills: All those hours spent in the library, on Wikipedia, Google searching, or reading journal articles and books to find information to put in your essays were definitely worth it. You’ve got great research skills, meaning that you can select relevant information and research new ideas.

So it looks like if you have a degree you actually have a lot of skills that employers want. If you want to veer away from the subject that you studied, then think about what you like and what you are good at when making your graduate career choice.

There’s a dream job out there for you, so figure it out without restricting yourself with your degree subject.

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1 Comment

  1. Helen-Louise Jones on

    Personally when both interviewing and applying for a post I find it really important to have the conversational type of interview. It allows me to dig a little deeper into who you are as a person/organisation, finding out what makes the light go on. It is this passion that will helps careers or knowing if an employer will be as great for me as I am for them.
    A degree does indeed show commitment and transferable academic skills but life experience is important too. Life experience is in equal measures to a degree. I do not consider the subject important unless needing to register for a specific career route i.e. CIPD. So go ahead and apply anyway-remember your STAR technique.
    If you haven’t started searching for graduate placements half way through the third year then maybe consider a year out gaining experience or another course until you know what you really want to do.

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