So you’ve completed an undergraduate degree: What’s next?
Like many of you, I don’t exactly know how to feel about graduation. In years 1 and 2, graduating from university felt like a dream, something we were all itching for. But now that the date is only around 2 months away, I don’t exactly know how to feel. On the one hand, I am grateful that I will no longer have to conduct stressful exams and essay writing, on the other, I wish I could go back and re-do the entire process once again. In a way, university is like a bubble, many of us are able to avoid the serious demands of the real world such as financial demands and the demands of working a traditional 9 to 5. Normally, after completing a high school degree, many people advance onto an undergraduate degree; naturally, not everyone does this but it is certainly the path laid out for many by parents and teachers. However, after completing a bachelor’s degree, the path of what to do next is not as clear: from internships to placements, graduate jobs to master’s degree, there are so many options for you after an undergraduate degree and if I am being honest, all these options have overwhelmed me.
Recently, I was very happy to have received an offer for a master’s degree at Warwick, I would be studying Politics and Legal studies in a taught program (I have previously uploaded a blog that explored the process of application and the required documents which can be found on the OurWarwick page as well). Regardless, in light of the fact that many of us are soon to graduate, I have decided to write a blog to outline all the potential routes you may take following a degree. It is important to highlight that everyone is on their individual journeys and accordingly, there is no such list that you should choose from, I simply thought it would be helpful to provide a list to guide people who are wondering what their options could be!
Naturally, many students are looking to enter the job market after their undergraduate degree, they are looking for graduate schemes and jobs that provide them with relevant training and skills required for working. Personally, I found that for some courses, these schemes are very easily accessible and linked to the skills they have, for example, law students: they are aware of what types of schemes they need to be looking for and the application process has been outlined to them by their supervisors. Similar notions can be said for finance students who are aware of what investment banking schemes they wish to apply for. I honestly found that it was quite hard for a politics student who did not wish to enter politics or the civil service to look for jobs. Nevertheless, I found that meeting with the careers team at Warwick and exploring jobs that you have previous experience in such as ones where you have had internships and placements, can greatly help you.
On the other hand, for many people, taking some time off from education and the demands of a job may be the best path for them. I am aware of many friends who are going to engage in a gap year as they have saved up during the past three years to sponsor some of their traveling around the world. Additionally, if you are not looking for an office-based traditional 9 to 5, you may also wish to look into part-time jobs or remote working opportunities. One thing I have noticed is that since the Covid-19 pandemic, schemes have been much more flexible about the types of work they provide, they are much more open to hybrid or remote working.
Finally, there is also the option of furthering your education. Personally, there were many reasons why a master’s course attracted me: it was the combination of being highly interested in the contents taught by the course and also the reality that I did not feel ready to start working from 9 to 5 immediately after my undergraduate degree. Since the course would only be an additional one year for full-time students, I thought it could certainly be a path worth looking into.
I hope that this blog was a nice read and I wish the best for everyone in their next steps following an undergraduate degree at Warwick.