Great Alternatives to Graduate Schemes 

May 20, 2021

You might be sat there, with the prospect of life after university starting to cross your mind. While it might feel like the best option is to apply for a graduate scheme straight away, there are lots of great alternatives out there.

Graduate schemes aren’t always the right choice for everyone. Luckily, there are lots of ways to start your post-university career.

Even if you know a grad scheme is what you want, it is always worthwhile keeping your mind open to other options.

Here are some of the best alternatives to graduate schemes:

Apply to companies directly 

If you’re a go-getter, you can skip out on the whole application process by directly contacting the companies that interest you.

These companies may likely have graduate positions available that are not advertised publicly. This means the competition can be less intense! But there may be fewer roles available as they may not have enough positions available to justify the training scheme.

Directly getting in touch also proves your skills as a candidate by showing you’re confident, motivated and that you have enthusiasm for their company.  

Try an internship

Taking an internship is a perfect way of finding out where you can see yourself in the future.

Whilst interning, you discover the day-to-day responsibilities of that specific industry. And if you prove yourself, you could have a foot in the door after university.

You can even take internships whilst you are still studying (which looks great on your CV!)

Look for jobs with start-up companies

There are loads of reasons to choose a much smaller business over a larger corporation to work at after uni.

You’re likely to get much more responsibility given to you than at a larger company which means you will learn a lot quickly! It can also be easier to prove yourself in a smaller office as it is likely to be more personable and so you will soon feel like one of the team.

With these types of jobs, it is more beneficial to put care into the way you apply. You will have to apply directly and also get creative with your CV.

Continue studying with a postgraduate degree

The idea of another year (or two) of essays and exams might be the last thing on your mind. But studying a postgraduate course can put you ahead of the competition when it comes to applying for jobs.

If you are still undecided on the career path you want to take, studying for a master’s is a good option to consider as it could open more doors for you.

Start your own business 

If you have a bit of entrepreneurial spirit in you, and there has always been something on the back of your mind that you have wanted to give a go, now could be the time to do it!

Many students have their own business or side hustle, it just takes a little bit of courage to keep going with it to turn it into something great.

Whatever happens, you will still learn a lot about yourself in the process and also pick up a variety of new skills which you can take forward in your career, whatever you do.

Exploring different options is the key to finding the perfect role, don’t be afraid to try new things in your post-uni life.

If you are still feeling stuck about what to do, there is no harm in taking a gap year to find the right path for you.  

Remember: every student is different and there is no right or wrong path!