Graduation cap

How students can prepare for life after higher education 

Not everyone decides to go down the route of higher education, but many do in hopes that they’ll settle into their dream career afterwards. If you’re a student who is currently attending university, you may be anticipating your last exam or graduation day so that you can get past theory and begin life in the real world. Here is how you as a student can prepare for life after higher education.

Look for internships

Internships allow you to work within the industry and environment you are currently striving for, while also giving you the opportunity to network and learn the tricks of the trade. While you may not get paid a lot (or anything), internships look great on CVs and can help solidify whether this is the career path for you.

Speak to recent graduates

What’s better than speaking to someone who has been through the process before? Get in contact with an alumnus and ask them for coffee or drinks. Even if it’s a phone call, you’ll have valuable information.

Have a strong CV

Your CV is what you’ll use to sell yourself to prospective employers, so it’s essential that you have a CV that details all of your experience, qualifications, certificates and hobbies. Writing a great CV, though, can be incredibly difficult; you want to strike the right balance of being confident and sharing enough information but not being overconfident or disclosing too much information. Consider using a professional CV writing service like PurpleCV to help craft a CV that won’t sell you short. They have affordable rates and save you the stress of guessing whether your CV looks professional enough.

Practice pitching

Once you enter into the working world, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time pitching yourself until you settle into a job. It could be through job interviews as well as while networking, so get confident in your skin and good at selling yourself.

Read books in your field

Certain industries rapidly change, so be sure to remain knowledgeable once you’ve finished education. As you won’t be attending lectures or seminars, you need to go out of your way to find the information. Read books that are relevant to your field, or go one step further and attend conferences and networking events so that you can speak to industry leaders.

Stay current

Seeing as you’re in the digital age, employers are often on the hunt for people who are up to date and know what’s going on. Stay in tune with current affairs, ask questions and make sense of the world around you. Doing so should help you bring a fresh perspective to your work and in some ways, make you more interesting too.

You can do this by following industry leaders on social media and reading their blog posts, reading the news every day, and attending relevant functions.

Life after higher education can seem scary but remember, in life you either sink or swim. Try not to be too hard on yourself but at the same time, be prepared for anything that comes your way.

Photograph by McElspeth

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