So, you’ve survived university and emerged with a degree. Well done. Once more it’s decision time – what next? Do you want to start work? Perhaps go on to do a master’s degree or take time out for some voluntary work?
What options are available?
To get some valuable and relevant work experience, it may be sensible to get an internship with an organisation operating in the sector you want to work in. As you see from the paragraph below, this can be useful in securing that first job. The main drawback is that often internships are unpaid with perhaps some payment to cover travel expenses. Not all students can afford the luxury of taking an internship but it is an option to consider, and many employers in the logistics and transport sector offer short-term internships or placements.
Regular doom-laden stories appear in the national press about how many people are chasing each graduate opportunity. At the last count it was around 70 but there is a glimmer of hope. The annual survey undertaken by High Fliers Research reveals that the class of 2015 face the highest-ever graduation debts, an unprecedented number have already secured a graduate job offer before leaving university and the proportion who are uncertain about their future is at its lowest level for seventeen years.
What is clear is that those with work experience fare better than those with none, and often those graduates who have already worked for organisations – either through industrial placements, vacation work or sponsorships – are often the ones who are successful in securing the graduate trainee positions those organisations.
Logistics and Transport Jobs is the place to find the best jobs in logistics and transport, and part of the extensive careers service available via CILT.
www.savethegraduate.org - a great resource helping ‘lost’ graduates take the next steps once leaving university. The website includes a graduate job search engine (http://www.savethegraduate.org/jobsearch) and full list of graduate scheme deadlines (http://www.savethegraduate.org/graduate-scheme-deadlines).
StudentJob is a job portal specifically dedicated to the employment needs of students and graduates. StudentJob brings you into direct contact with interesting companies that are looking for temporary, part-time or full-time employees.
You might want to consider going on to study for a master’s programme but do your research carefully and make sure that your choice adds to your marketability in the jobs market or you will simply be adding to your student debt.
If you’ve decided following a summer job or placement that logistics and transport is the career path you want to take, then there are a number of master’s degrees available at universities across the UK
It may be that you’ve had enough of studying and you don’t want to embark on a full-blown career just yet, volunteering is a great option. Check out www.volunteering.org.uk; www.challengesworldwide.org; www.do-it.org.uk and www.vso.org.uk. For more ideas do a Google search for “volunteering opportunities after university”.
To sum up
Whatever you do, don’t leave everything until your final year. You should be building up your employability skills during the whole of your university studies, and aiming to get some work experience under your belt so that you’ve got more than your degree to wow potential employers with.
Don’t despair though, the careers service at your university is well geared up to support you and there is a wealth of resources on the internet. It is important that you research the full range of opportunities to ensure that you are equipped to make informed decisions about the next phase of your life.
Research career pathways
There are literally hundreds of websites designed to help graduates make their first steps on the career ladder. And whilst the internet is an invaluable resource it is also a great time-stealer, so it is important that you hone your search skills to get the most out of it. In the resources section of these careers pages you will find some useful links that will help you to identify potential employers.
Is there a Sector Skills Council, professional body or trade association that looks after your area of interest (a quick Google search will help you locate the relevant organisation)? If there is then visit their website as many provide advice on career pathways. For example, GoSkills has a comprehensive careers website (see link below).
You should be making the internet work for you. Build up a profile on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.co.uk) but remember this is a professional networking site and your profile should be appropriate for that setting – the site also includes a jobs service, which is worth checking out. Remember to make the most of social networking and make sure it does not catch you out. Many employers will check your “web presence” so be careful that they don’t unearth something you’d rather they didn’t see. There’s lots of advice out there about how to use social networking to best effect in your job hunting.
Sources of information
There’s plenty of information and guidance available on the internet.
Logistics and transport careers websites
The government careers information and guidance websites are organised by nation: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. However, not all the content is country-specific so it’s worth taking a look at all of them.
- www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers this website provides all-age learning and careers advice for those living in Northern Ireland and Choices after you graduate for a range of information and advice about what to do after graduation.
- www.myworldofwork.co.uk this website provides all-age learning and careers advice for those living in Scotland.
- www.careerswales.com this website provides all-age learning and careers advice for those living in Wales.
General careers and advice websites
A selection of the hundreds of websites designed to support graduates to make the next steps in their career – covering careers advices, job and further study opportunities.
Internships and placement opportunities
- www.ukpass.ac.uk provides an admissions service to institutions recruit postgraduate students and give applicants a simple and efficient online application.
- www.postgrad.com helping global institutions recruit the postgraduate students, includes information on bursaries and postgraduate careers opportunities.