Take a gap year, get a job, start a business…one of the most pressing concerns for a student is deciding what to do after graduation from university. And while the decision can be challenging at the best of times, 2020 has thrown a curveball like no other when it comes to planning for the next chapter.
With that in mind, here’s a few options to help you make some decisions as you navigate your way towards 2021.
1. Explore a different industry
With the labour market unlikely to recover this year, many students have been left wondering how to find graduate jobs in a post-COVID world.
While the pandemic brought some sectors to a standstill, it also led to massive growth in others. Some of the sectors predicted to see the most growth in the coming months are digital media, online education, food retail and health services. In contrast, those set to see slower growth include tourism, fashion and the luxury sector, and traditional education.
Now could be an excellent time to put your chosen career path on pause for a short while and focus your efforts on industries that are thriving post-COVID. Finding a job in one of the least impacted sectors will be competitive, but it’s worth a try to buy some time while you figure out next steps.
2. Find a graduate job
Students wondering when to apply for graduate jobs used to be able to wait until the end of their uni year to get a CV prepared, get their LinkedIn prepped and become interview-ready, but things won’t be so straightforward as we head into 2021.
While interviews might still happen face to face, it’s essential to prepare for a full-online recruitment experience, with interviews taking place online and remote working playing a larger part of your first-job than you thought. Now is a good time to get your Zoom skills job-ready.
While uncertainty is high across the board, some positive news is that at 43%, almost half of UK employers have said they will continue to hire graduates as planned, with 34% making no change to the number of interns and placement students they plan to hire.
Other businesses are adjusting their recruitment strategies as they stabilise. While many have reduced the number of graduates and interns they originally planned for in 2020, only 3% said they plan to make a substantial decrease.
3. Check out graduate-friendly cities
If you’re thinking of moving to another city after uni, why not look at some of the most graduate-friendly cities in the UK? Glasgow offers exceptional business and networking opportunities, without sky-high rent prices, making it super student-friendly. Places like London, Liverpool or Birmingham can also provide great opportunities to graduates.
4. Start a business
Nothing drives innovation like necessity, and in the challenging COVID climate, more graduates are creating their own opportunities and starting their businesses. Research shows that a business is born every two hours at UK universities and that last year, graduates created around 30,000 job opportunities, which goes to show how pioneering graduates are.