January 18, 2018

Career path options for recent graduates

Career path options for recent graduates - photo copyright Rick Sherrell

Choosing a career path can understandably be pretty overwhelming. After all, your decision will affect the rest of your entire future. For this reason, it is important that you really take time to think about what you want and where you want your career to go. To help with your decision-making, you should do some research on the most rewarding (financially and personally) career paths today. To help you get started, here are a few of the top career paths fresh graduates can consider pursuing.

1. Graduate School

More school may not be exactly what you have in mind since you just completed years of school for your undergrad degree. But, pursuing a graduate degree does have some benefits. If you are considering going down this route, there are a few things that you should be sure to consider. First, you need to decide whether a graduate degree is essential for your advancement in the career that you’ve envisioned. If you decide that a graduate degree really is a necessity for your career of choice, then you need to figure out whether you can actually afford it. Graduate school can be incredibly expensive, and you might want to re-think your career choice if it means entering into a huge amount of debt.

Graduate school will require you to spend another two to seven years studying and during this time, you may not be earning any money. However, if you’ve chosen the right graduate degree, getting to where you would like to be career wise will be easier (and extremely satisfying) when you graduate.

2. Freelancing

There is a huge and increasing demand for freelancers these days. Companies love freelancers because they can get the required job done for a lower price, and the company doesn’t have to provide benefits. The life of a freelancer is ideal for some as well because you have better control of your time which allows you to work freely and without pressure. Furthermore, freelancers can set their rates on an hourly or per project basis and take on as few or many projects as they desire.

There are a lot of opportunities for communications graduates that choose to go the freelance route. They can become editors, writers, PR specialists, marketing consultants, and many more. Freelance web developers and graphic artists are also very much in demand since most businesses today have the need for a website. You can check out online freelance sites such as odesk.com or elance.com for job opportunities suited for your degree and skills.

3. Internships

An internship at a great company is one of the best ways to start building your professional portfolio. While you won’t be earning money, you will gain experience and the know-how to be able to break into the industry that you are vying for. When you finally apply for a permanent job, you can skip entry-level positions and start at a position that is more appealing. Plus, you can get referrals and job recommendations from your bosses and these are very important if you’re aiming for a high-powered career.

4. Entry-Level Jobs

If you want to start earning your own money and you want to start right now, an entry-level job in your chosen industry in the best career option for you. You may have to be prepared to be the underdog for a while but this is a great way to start building your resume. Plus, this will allow you to learn the ropes of the business you want to get into. You can also build your professional network better this way since you will be interacting with a lot of people from the same industry. While the entry level job might not be ideal, if you put in your time, it can lead to some great future opportunities.

5. Start Your Own Company

These days, starting your own company is no longer as hard as it used to be. Say you’ve chosen to pursue a career as a marketing specialist; you can start building your own business by marketing your services online. All you need is your own website and the tools/know-how to get your job done. Start small with a single client, and work hard to build up your business. However, you need to be prepared to step up your game every chance you get because competition among online companies can be tough. Always stay updated with the latest trends and make sure that each job is completed successfully. This way, satisfied clients can refer your services to their own network. This is the best way to get ahead in the business.

Although the job market can be tough, we hope that we’ve given you some good options to consider. Which career path seems the most appealing to you? Feel free to share in the comments section below!

Author Bio: Lisa Fox is a writer for DegreesThatPay.com which recently featured an article about 2013’s Highest Paying Jobs. If you have any questions for Lisa, feel free to connect with her on Twitter and follow @DegreesThatPay.

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