Thinking about your next step after graduation?

So you’ve submitted your final assignment, done your exams, crossed the stage and earnt that piece of paper you’ve been working towards for 3-4 years. What now? You think to yourself? “What is next after your university?” At first, it can be incredibly daunting, you’ve been focused on one goal for a long time and now you’ve reached, or are close to reaching that goal! This blog is here to help you navigate that tricky period after graduation from university, it may even help you decide what to do before you finish, or in a years time! The important thing to remember is the world really is your oyster right now! Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy guide to help you begin to picture your next step. 

Wait- not too fast!

Your first step before you get started in planning the future you have in front of you and begin thinking about what do you do after university is to sit back and think about all you’ve accomplished so far! It can be so easy to skip over your achievements and go straight into planning your future, but it’s so important you savour this moment. Gaining a university degree is something to be proud of, and the growth you make as an individual is also something to be incredibly proud of! So before you read any further, take a minute or two to digest what you’ve completed or are about to complete! 

Now, here are some options to think about when making that all important decision about what to do after university!

Finding a graduate role!

The first thing you think of when finishing or reaching the end of your university journey is finding that perfect role! Graduate programs or roles are great opportunities to work in your ideal field while also being supported along the way with various learning and development opportunities. Each degree is different, some have a clear set job afterwards, like law, or engineering, but not every degree is like that! Many graduate programs are opening up their applications to a wider variety of degrees. NxtStep is the perfect place to start! Throughout the year we post roles and programmes from employers in a wide range of industries. Here are some examples of graduate roles and programs that are available on our website right now! 

  • Architectural Graduate at Beca! Ideal for graduates in Architecture, where you’ll work in Beca’s Design Practice and hone your technical skills while contributing in a multi disciplinary studio. Beca also have other graduate roles here.

  • If you’re a graduate from Occupational therapy or physiotherapy then take a look at Habit Group Graduate Programme where you’ll gain exposure to a holistic approach, shadow a clinical supervisor, have supervised appointments and gain insight into complementary disciplines.

See! There’s really something for everyone. If you’re still studying and are already thinking about a graduate programme keep an eye out on NxtStep early in the first semester or follow our Facebook page where we post about new roles!

Taking on postgraduate study!

Every student has a different experience of university, some love their degree but are ready to tackle a real-world job, others find studying a pathway to knowledge and leave their Bachelors degree with a hunger to know more! That hunger can be put into a postgraduate study where you can delve deep into research or more complex classes. I know, diving headfirst into even more study after just finishing a degree might sound daunting at first and you’re likely wondering is post-grad worth it?

Postgraduate study like honours, or masters do provide great ways to build a stronger knowledge on your chosen study area, but they also provide great skills in research, ability to do self-directed work, and for some, even product development! If you truly love what you’re studying, want to contribute more knowledge through research, or picture a career in academia then give it a shot!

Postgraduate study is also a great way to gain a new skill set later on in life. Picture this, you’ve completed your degree but need time to really figure out what it is you want to be doing in life, you loved your degree but you’re not sure if that work is something you really want to do. So you take a gap year, do some traveling, work a little bit, and in the process discover something you genuinely love! This is where postgraduate certificates and diplomas come in. If you’re finding the job hunt for that job you know you’ll be passionate about hardwork because you don’t have the right qualifications, a post-graduate diploma may help! It’s also a great way to upskill post-university. 

What about travel?

Spending three to four years studying full time can be incredibly draining, many students decide to take an OE and travel for a year or two before throwing themselves into the big scary world of full-time work! Not only is traveling a fantastic way to take a much needed holiday after university, but it’s a great way to experience new cultures and different countries! If you’re unsure where to go, there are various different companies that offer package deals, some even in groups! This means you can travel solo or even with a friend and make lasting memories you can look back on later. You could travel to the Phi Phi Islands in Thailand and go snorkeling in the beautiful ocean or explore Europe and see historical buildings and landmarks! Some people even do working or volunteer holidays where you can make a meaningful impact on the world or people in need. Check out Camp America if you’re interested in working with children and exploring the USA at the same time! Even better, why not spend the time teaching English in China? Check out Melbourne Training Associates NxtStep Profile (psst! Applications for their teaching program are currently open!).

You’re Ready! 

When you’re approaching the end of your degree it can feel incredibly overwhelming, with a looming feeling of not knowing what your next steps might be. Remember to first be proud of yourself for accomplishing so much, then think about what you want to be doing, take a look at the options below and remember, nothing is forever! You don’t have to make big decisions now, if you’re unsure, take the time out to travel or gain some experience. If you decide now is the time for you to kick start your career with a graduate programme then keep an eye out right here on NxtStep! Congratulations! Your future awaits!

Written by Amber Wharepapa (Auckland)