What to Do After University: A Career and Visa Guide

While it’s probably hard to see beyond the end of your course right now, in the not-too-distant future, life at university will come to an end. When that happens, you need to have a plan in place. For lots of students, the priority is finding a job, but it isn’t your only option. You may also want to stay in the UK, perhaps go on to a post-grad course, or take an education break.

Here is a guide to help you figure out what comes next.


Deciding Your Next Steps After Uni


Take some time to reflect on your interests, skills, and career aspirations. Make lists of your motivations, strengths, and values to get clarity. Research different post grad careers and post grad jobs to find potential matches. Discuss options with mentors, professors and the university’s career centre. With self-reflection and exploration, you’ll gain direction on what you want to do after university.


Take a Gap Year


A gap year can provide a constructive break between university and your future career. It’s a chance to travel, volunteer, learn new skills via post grad internships, or work in a casual job before settling into a full-time job. A gap year abroad expands your worldview and looks great on your CV.

Check out your gap year volunteering options. Teaching English, conservation work and medical volunteering are popular gap year activities. Or explore new cultures and cities through backpacking, language courses and work exchanges. Lots of students follow the traditional route of flying to Southeast Asia or Australia, but the world is your oyster.

A gap year allows you to clarify your interests and gain real-world experience.

Choosing the Right Career Path for You


Choosing a career path after university is an important decision.

Assess your personal interests, skills and motivations to find fulfilling work. Research industries and specific job roles that align with these. Be open to exploring options you may not have considered before. Talk to professionals in fields that intrigue you to get insights.

Reflect on subjects and activities from university that energised you – they could indicate career paths worth exploring. Weigh up job attributes like salary, work-life balance, variety, and advancement opportunities. Choosing a career path and embarking on a graduate job hunt is highly personal, so listen to your gut about what feels right for you.


Getting more experience with internships


Gaining work experience in your field through internships is invaluable after university. Post graduate internships let you apply classroom learning in real-world settings. You’ll build hard skills, industry knowledge and professional contacts.

Entry-level and summer internships are great options for recent graduates. Look for structured programmes at reputable companies that provide meaningful projects.

Unpaid internships are controversial but can be done ethically. Ensure you’ll get proper training, mentoring and responsibilities – not just menial tasks.

Approach internships as extended interviews. Impress them with your attitude and abilities to stand out for future job openings.

Navigating the Post Graduate Job Hunt


After several years at university, the prospect of job hunting can seem daunting. But there are ample resources and strategies to help you land that coveted graduate job.

Here’s how to navigate the post-grad job hunt successfully.


Where to find post graduate jobs


The university careers centre is the best place to start your graduate job search.


  • Meet with a counsellor and see what job listings, career events and recruiting opportunities they offer.
  • Attend graduate fairs to connect with employers in person.
  • Search online job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and company websites for openings.
  • Professional associations and industry publications often post job ads too.


Networking is vital – tap into your personal contacts and university alumni association. Connect with professionals on LinkedIn and social media. Follow companies you’re interested in and sign up for job alerts.


How to write a post grad CV


Your CV is crucial for graduate job applications.


  • List your education at the top, followed by experience, skills, and achievements tailored for each role.
  • Emphasise transferable skills gained from coursework, clubs and internships.
  • Back up claims with quantifiable examples.
  • Keep descriptions concise, formatting consistent and structure clean.
  • Tailor your CV for each application using keywords from the job ad. Get feedback from university career counsellors.
  • Showcase both your academic abilities and relevant experience to impress employers.


Are You an International Student in the UK Wanting to Start Your Career Here?


If you are an international student graduating in the UK and hoping to kickstart your career there, be aware of the visa requirements.


Visa guide for international students


If you want to stay on in the UK after graduation, there are important visa considerations. Depending on your circumstances, possible options are the Graduate visa, Skilled Worker visa or sponsored work visas.

The Graduate visa gives you two years (three years for PhDs) to live/work flexibly in the UK post-study. For longer stays, the Skilled Worker visa has more stringent eligibility requirements, like having a job offer with an approved sponsor.

Review the government’s visa site thoroughly and understand your options. Start planning well ahead of graduation and account for processing times. Seek immigration advice if needed. With the right visa, international students can launch rewarding careers in the UK.

If you do decide to stay after graduating, to pursue a master’s degree or other post grad qualification, we have dedicated buildings just for post grad students, where you can continue living comfortably with us. Check out our locations for your perfect new home.

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