‘My degree is next to worthless’… Well at Step we tend not to agree.
This BBC article reports on the fact that it is not always possible to find a job directly related to your course of study, resulting in a feeling by some forlorn graduates of it all having been a waste of time.
Certainly it is the case that many graduates do not move straight from university into a graduate job of their dreams and whilst graduates also find themselves in jobs that do not require a higher level qualification immediately after graduation, the outlook is changing and is more positive than it has been for many years.
So let’s put the situation in perspective: The first thing to realise is that life’s journey is, for most people, generally not linear. Think about it; four years ago the world was a different place and the choices you made when you were applying for a place at university would probably have been based on many assumptions that are no longer applicable. As we’ve said before in our Blog, having a very fixed idea on what you want to do on graduating can seriously hinder your prospects. Being able to adapt and adjust your personal plans to the prevailing circumstances is in itself something that will be judged positively by a future employer. Just make sure you can clearly explain the rationale for the decisions you do make.
So here are a few personal tips on how you might widen your job search and ensure that all the hard work you put in to obtain your degree has been worthwhile.
You’ll need to start by having a good understanding of how to utilise your degree discipline. If you haven’t already done so, contact your university careers service as they will be able to advise you on the types of roles and careers that might be of interest. Our partner TargetJobs also has an excellent section on what you can do with your degree.
Don’t in any circumstances reject something because it is not entirely what your ‘dream job’ looks like in your head. Your dream job could in fact just be a dream (sorry!!!) but what you actually find yourself loving could be something entirely different; you just haven’t thought of it yet.
Be as open-minded as possible. Brainstorm your ideal job role, what it includes and think about what that could mean. For example; I studied English, loved writing, blogging, social media and enjoyed the customer service elements of the temporary and part-time jobs that I’d had whilst at uni. I had never even considered marketing as a career until I spoke to a careers advisor, and now here I am as the Marketing and Communications Account Executive at Step.
Bear in mind that many companies take on graduates as they are looking at the wider skills set that you should have developed as a consequence of studying for your degree. These are the generic employability skills such as verbal and written communication, teamwork, analytical skills, problem solving and many more (you need to complete them on your Step profile). Of course you should also consider any generic skills that you have developed through work experience, temporary or part time jobs. Think about the specifications of the role and be sure to relate how all your knowledge and skills meet the requirements.
Finally, remember there is help out there; at Step our entire raison d’etre is designed to advise and guide you through the application and selection process to bring out those skills and attributes you have acquired to date in order to present yourself in the best possible light to a prospective graduate employer.
You never know where something will take you, be spontaneous and enjoy the journey, your degree is not worthless it’s how you use it that matters.