Routes You Can Take After Graduating University

After graduation, you may feel lost or confused about what direction to take regarding the last few years.

Students are left wondering “what’s next” especially due to the pandemic, which has changed the job market completely.

However, don’t worry there are always opportunities available!

1. Graduate Job

While the pandemic may have changed the face of the job market you were intending to join, there are still always opportunities available.

Graduates may also have to be more flexible in their choices and perhaps consider an option that they wouldn’t have pre-pandemic,’ says Jason Yarrow, director of the careers service at Imperial College London.

Those ‘other options’ may include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), remember that your first job doesn’t tie you to a particular career forever, so think about widening your search for graduate jobs.

Work on building contacts with industry professionals – LinkedIn is a good resource for this.

If the job search isn’t going the way you wanted, try internships, volunteering, part-time work or work shadowing.

Make an effort to improve your CV and cover letters so that they show off your qualities and experience. And then, when your applications begin to pay off, ensure that you’re prepared for interviews.

2. Become self-employed

If you can’t find your dream job, why not create it by setting up your own company?

If you have a great business idea or believe that your final-year project has commercial potential.

There are other things to consider such as who your competitors are, is there a gap in the market, can you afford to go self-employed and what’s your marketing strategy?

The advantages of self-employment include:

  • Independence
  • Control over your workplace
  • Freedom to work on what projects you choose
  • Flexibility
  • To fit work commitments in with family and other interests
  • Opportunities – to build a portfolio of activities funded by different sources and to respond to ideas and proposals as you see fit
  • Recognition – you’re able to take the credit for everything that you do
  • How you intend to transition into self-employment – whether you’re considering operating as a sole trader, freelancer or as a more formal entity such as a limited company.

3. Pursue postgraduate study

 A master’s degree takes time and money so make sure you’re entering into it for the right reasons.

In some cases, it can boost both your employment and promotion prospects as well as your salary. To broaden your experience and cultural horizons you may also want to consider studying abroad.

This option demands a time commitment and there are obviously things like tuition fees and funding to take into account, don’t take on a master’s degree to stall time.

4. Take a gap year

Experience different cultures, ways of working, and understanding.

Working while travelling is also a great way to boost your CV and develop a range of skills.

Taking a year out to weigh up your options, decide where your professional interests lie, travel, and gain life experience also helps you to make more informed career decisions.

If this sounds like something you’d like to do, you’ll need to have an action plan in place for when you return. However, don’t expect a job to be waiting for you when you get back to reality!

Here are a few of the pros and cons!


  • Delaying your career
  • Money
  • Employers perspective
  • Returning to the 9-5
  • Uncertainty


  • Figure out what you want to do
  • Life experiences
  • You can become more employable in the meantime
  • No need to worry about repayments 

Something else...