Exploring Graduate Job Roles and Alternatives

If you don't know what career you want when you graduate, you may have more options than you think.

There are jobs in law, finance, IT and management that are open to graduates from any degree background. This is because employers recognise the various transferable skills you will have developed as a person (link back to ‘Preparing to get a Graduate Job).

Careers open to graduates from all degree backgrounds

While employers often ask candidates to have a 2.1, they are less likely to require a specific degree.

Typical areas where all degrees are considered include:

  • Management: management training schemes can be found in the public sector, for example, the NHS/health sector and in local and central government (Civil Service). Many graduate employers in the private sector also run ‘general management schemes’. Consumer goods companies, manufacturing, logistics and supply organisations, utilities firms and retail-focused organisations all look for bright, organised graduates to train in different areas of business, commercial development and supply chain management.
  • Information and communications technology: IT services organisations and technology consultancies often recruit graduates from non-technical degrees for business analyst, consulting and commercial opportunities – these essential midfield roles are the interface between those who focus on the technical development and clients and end users of the technology.
  • The finance and professional services sectors: If you are an arts, humanities or social sciences student, for example, there is no reason why you cannot work in finance. If you want to work and be successful in The City you will need experience, enthusiasm and a high level of numeracy. But the finance sector is more than The City. Accountancies, financial services and professional services also run finance graduate schemes.
  • The third sector: third sector jobs are careers in charities and other non-profit organisations, such as public museums and art galleries. Marketing, fundraising and more roles are open to graduates from any subject, although some subjects will be preferable. The important factor for recruiting to these organisation is often your previous experience in the area, so look into volunteering first, to boost your application.

Careers you can train for as a graduate with any degree

There are some careers where additional training or a postgraduate qualification will either be required or will help you. Conversion courses are typically postgraduate courses (masters or graduate diplomas) that facilitate the transition into a particular profession.

This course of action is essential for careers where, ultimately, you will have to ‘qualify’ professionally, for example: law, surveying and teaching. If you are considering teaching you can find more information on the Further Study pages (hyperlink to Further study – teaching)

Other career areas that typically have conversion course options include IT, business and finance. However, the additional qualification isn’t always necessary for getting a graduate role in these areas. Consider:

  • Do you need particular specialist knowledge or technical skill to help you get into jobs you have seen advertised that interest you?
  • Would it make you feel more comfortable if you had completed some formal learning in the area before applying for jobs?

A conversion course can be seen as a statement of intent, a way to show your potential employer that you are interested in their subject.

Postgraduate study for other reasons

You may choose to undertake further study out of personal interest in a subject or because you would like to improve on your course result. If you feel that further study may be right for you when you graduate, read the CORE Further Study pages and book an appointment to discuss your options with a Careers Consultant, book via The CORE.

Careers Consultants in the Careers Development Service at CCCU are completely impartial and confidential

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Last edited: 02/03/2017 12:08:00