Graduate schemes

Is a Graduate Scheme for you?

Is a graduate scheme the right choice for you? What are the alternatives?

Graduate training schemes provide individuals with another option after University and can help put you on the path to your career of choice.

Formal graduate training schemes will usually last around a year and will give you experience of the business and how it operates. However, there are usually a limited number of places for graduate schemes so stringent requirements are often put in place such as having a 2:1 degree.

Though graduate training schemes are an excellent path to take, they are not for everyone – that is to say, it really comes down to the individual.

It’s Down to You

Graduate Schemes Hard WorkIf you’re very career-minded and have a good sense of where you want to be within the next 5 years then training schemes would suit you. You’ll develop real life skills, and gain valuable experience that will not only boost your confidence but provide you with references that you can add to your CV.

If this sounds like you, then you must remember that not all training schemes are particularly easy. Here are a few quick reasons why:

  • They can involve a lot of tedious work, doing odd-jobs and a lot of being told what to do.
  • You definitely need to be organised, timely and always on the ball as the impression you make during your placement really does count!
  • Application processes can also be very competitive and not to mention the initial selection phase can be quite lengthy.
  • Grad schemes are also generally not fixed hour placements and you may be needed to work late, at home or even on weekends.
  • They may also be in a location which means that you have to move away from friends or family

Before filling out the application forms for a whole bunch of schemes you know little about, get informed about exactly what will be required of you should you be selected. This way you won’t waste your or the employer’s time!

Don’t worry if this doesn’t sound like something for you; graduate training schemes aren’t the be all and end all, take a look below at some other options you could pursue.

Alternatives to Grad Schemes

Forget the grad training schemes and apply for graduate style jobs direct. Make sure your CV is top-notch and attach a covering letter stating why you want to work for the company at hand.

Use your skills

If you’re living at home after University and don’t yet need to worry about paying bills or rent, then part-time work is also an excellent option. Think of some skills you have and put them to use. Do you play an instrument? If so, teach! Teaching skills which you may take granted for could be an excellent way of earning money.

Find the SMEs

There’s also the SME (small-to-medium enterprise) sector to think about – it’s not just about the big banks and retail outlets. The training or even paid work you obtain here is just as valuable, and not to mention will likely boost your interpersonal skills as they tend to be of a much more personal nature.

Often smaller companies do not advertise but instead rely on applicants or word-of-mouth when it comes to hiring, so put yourself out there and get known! Use our tips to find these hidden jobs too!

Go back to uni?

If none of these options sound appealing to you, you could remain where you are after graduation and seek a job at your educational institution.

Or if you decide that a job is not for you at all yet then you could look into possibilities with postgraduate study.

Become the next Alan Sugar (or not)!

Failing that, start your own business! Though the economic climate isn’t great, there are still endless ways to make cash, and to make it consistently. Plus there’s loads of help out there for graduates.

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