In the United States, it’s estimated that around 35% of the population had attained at least a bachelor’s degree. This means over a third of the population has gone to university and achieved a degree from it, meaning a successful course completion. This is a fairly high number of people if you consider just how big the United States is, and it points to a common path through life that starts with academics and usually ends with a stable job.
At least, that’s what we want to happen.
In reality, life after graduating from university is different for everyone. Some people will have a job opportunity lined up thanks to their networking efforts during university, but others may end up working low-skilled jobs until they finally get an opportunity to do something that is relevant to their career. Situations like this are never fun, especially once you’ve graduated with a technical degree, but it’s one reality that you might face.
So what’s it like for other people? Is it really that common to be forced into jobs that aren’t relevant to your degree? Or is this an exaggerated claim to scare people from even considering university as a path through life?
University probably didn’t prepare you for finding a job
Most people graduate from university without a job opportunity lined up. This isn’t entirely farfetched and not every university has links in various industries to give their students a job as soon as they graduate.
As such, most graduates will need to start looking for a job well before they even finish school. Many of these job opportunities will have graduates doing menial tasks or not even using the skills and knowledge that they were taught in university. So whether or not you actually land a job, you might find yourself telling yourself that university wasn’t worth it.
This is especially true considering that most of the skills that you need to be successful in a particular role are learned through experience. They’re not taught in lessons. Instead, you’re more likely to learn how to be better at your job by just doing your job and learning from mistakes and the advice of your seniors. There’s only so much that your university classes can help with your real-world job.
So how can you make finding a job easier? Are there any ways to take advantage of your graduate status? There are plenty of jobs available to graduates and many of them advertise themselves as being great opportunities for people that have just completed their studies. However, it’s worth noting that not all of these jobs are legitimate. In fact, there are many scam jobs that specifically target graduates. They prey on graduates that are struggling to find work and will word their advertisements to help entice people into believing their claims. It’s an extremely questionable activity and is likely to fool a lot of people.
Young graduates don’t always fall for these tricks, but it’s more common than you might think. It’s important not to let your guard down when looking for work and you should always do your research on companies and people to prevent yourself from being scammed. If you think that something might be too good to be true then it’s best to avoid it. Instead, you should consider the reality of working your way up the career ladder. It usually involves starting with a low-paying job at a larger corporation, but as long as you’re given ways to progress up the career ladder, it’s usually a much better option than gambling on a well-paying graduate job.
So in conclusion; understand that graduates don’t have an amazing lineup of jobs to pick from. Instead, you’ll need to grind for your career of choice and you’ll have to work from the bottom in order to land yourself in the position that you dreamed of when you first started your academic career. Don’t hesitate to use your network to your advantage to look for job opportunities, and don’t be discouraged when you realize that every other job is asking for years of experience. Sooner or later, you’ll find an opportunity that will help you grow your career.
Graduation isn’t the end of your academic life
One thing to remember is that your graduation isn’t going to be the end of your academic life, especially if you’re interested in a well-paying career that demands a lot of skill and attention. Whether you bought custom stoles for your graduation or decided to host a party in some luxurious venue, there were probably loads of ways that your graduation felt special. So much so that it felt like a chapter had closed for your life and you were about to move on to greater things. But whether it’s unfortunate or not, graduation isn’t the end of your academic life.
In fact, it’s only the beginning.
If you want to improve at your job and increase your chances of being considered for a promotion, then you need to remember that you won’t stop learning. While your university studies have prepared you for a career, it hasn’t taught you everything you need to know in order to thrive in it. This is important because we need to continuously improve our skills in order to do a better job in our workplace.
So if you want to improve in your ideal career, you need to start thinking about how you can learn new skills in order to be a better fit for your role of choice. This usually means returning to university to study something new, or it could mean professional learning from corporate resources. Whatever the case is, don’t just assume that you’re going to instantly fit in your new career and never have to study anything again. Most of the skills that you need for a job are taught from experience, not from university lectures that you had over a year ago.
What about changing your planned career path?
There’s also the possibility of changing your planned career path instead of chasing the same thing you’ve been after since the start of your university days. This is usually a common option for people that have realized that their chosen subject might not be for them. In fact, you’ll find many people regretting what they studied during their academic years, and many of them will have secured themselves a career in something completely different from their university degree.
In a case like this, you might feel like your degree is nothing more than just a piece of paper that qualifies you to look for a job. It doesn’t actually help you land a well-paying job because, in addition to your degree, people are looking for years of experience that you probably don’t have. These kinds of roadblocks can prompt a graduate to completely change their expertise to something else so that they have a better chance of securing a job.
But this shouldn’t be the way that people think. Yes, it’s possible to increase your chances of finding a job if you pick a more general career path such as computer science. However, that doesn’t mean you should abandon the dreams that you had at the beginning of your academic life.
There are other ways to make use of those skills that you have, especially if it’s something that you have a lot of attachment to. Some people study art in university because they love to paint and draw, but that doesn’t mean they should give up on a career as an artist to go do computer science because it’s easier to find a job.
So what should you do? There are a couple of options.
- Accept that you’re going to be paid less because your skill is in less demand. While this isn’t ideal, it’s something that people have to understand if they want to grow a creative career. Your art and creations aren’t going to be worth much, especially if you start as a freelancer or a self-employed individual. But as you work on more projects and seek new opportunities, you’ll find that the value of your work has no real ceiling.
- Work for yourself. Instead of trying to find a job in a specific industry, why not create your own niche and do something yourself? This can include working as a freelancer, it could mean starting your own business, or even positioning yourself as a consultant for other companies and individuals.
These kinds of ideas are great for people that want to have more control over their careers and actually take advantage of all the knowledge they picked up during university. While it does take more work, it opens up lots of fantastic opportunities for the future and increases the chances that you can secure a career using the skills that you picked up during university.
At the end of the day, life after university is whatever you make of it. Some people will get frustrated that they can’t find a job using their degree, while others will thrive on using their skills and knowledge in unique ways to carve their own niche.