Group of postgraduate students chatting

July 27, 2023, by Leah Sharpe

I’m a Master’s Graduate, Where Do I Go From Here?

By Katie Ray, Careers Adviser

So, you’re about to complete your postgraduate study – congratulations! As exciting as this next chapter should be, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unsure of the future, and confused about what steps to take next.  

Rest assured; all those feelings are very normal. If you’re feeling stuck and unable to take action, it could help to take some time to reflect on what those concerns are, breaking them down into small manageable actions to move yourself forward – slow and steady wins the race. 

I don’t know what I want to do

First, you need to have some idea of what you want to head towards otherwise you’ll find yourself using up a lot of your valuable time and not getting very far. You may have a career idea in mind already, maybe you’ve got too many, or you might not have a clue. We have some really useful online tools to help you think this through and provide some direction. Take a look at our webpage to get started. 

How do I make my masters count in an application form

Most employers won’t differentiate master’s candidates from bachelors applicants when recruiting. So, when you apply it’s very important that you use your postgraduate experience on your application to help you stand out from the crowd. What skills did you develop through your master’s that a bachelors applicant may not have? Highlight the skills you’ve developed and emphasise the experience you’ve gained, including any research placements you’ve carried out in your application explaining why these make you a great choice for the position you’re applying for.

We have lots of useful resources to support you with making applications and you can reach out for one-to-one advice by booking an appointment through MyCareer.

Graduate schemes and direct entry roles

If you’re looking for graduate schemes, it might feel like the opportunities aren’t there right now. Recruitment cycles for graduate schemes can often be a little out of sync for postgraduate students. Graduate recruitment cycles vary but you’ll usually find that most open for applications around September with deadlines from November/December time. Schemes will typically start from the following summer.  

Have you considered direct entry jobs? If you’re a postgraduate with some work experience already under your belt or you’re looking for an immediate start with a less structured period of training, this is another option to consider. In your application you’ll need to show the employer that you can ‘hit the ground running’ so make sure you utilise the additional confidence, experience and independent research skills you would have gained through postgraduate study. 

To find out more about graduate schemes versus direct entry options and for advice on where to look for opportunities take a look at our webpage. 

Taking time out after your master’s

Once you have completed your master’s, you may feel like you want to take some time out to really consider your options, apply to graduate schemes starting the following summer, or to take the opportunity to travel before embarking on your career. Whatever your reason, do what feels right for you. Take a read of this blog to support you with making the most of your time out.

Explore our dedicated postgraduate taught student webpages. Our careers advisers are linked to faculties and can give you advice relevant to your area of study and interests.  

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdvicePostgraduate Taught Students