When you are looking for work post-graduation, there are a few different options available to you. Two different kinds of work aimed at graduates that you might see advertised are Graduate Schemes and Graduate Jobs. Both types of work are competitive and come with their own set of pros and cons – so it’s important that you understand which is which when you are applying.
These are often offered by larger companies and corporations who might recruit a collection of graduates onto different programmes and roles annually. These schemes are commonly offered in, but are not limited to, fields such as Business, Accounting, or Engineering. These types of schemes are highly competitive, and applications open early – you can begin looking to apply for roles a year before their start date.
These types of schemes might be advertised as Graduate Schemes, Internships, Programmes or Trainee Programmes. They are structured as training programmes that develops your skills into a specific role and the schemes run to a set amount of time, often ranging from 6 months to 2 years. Some trainee programmes will allow you to rotate between teams and experience working in different sectors – make sure you find out what these will be, or if you have any input into where you would like to be based.
Some graduate schemes might only be available to you through your university, and some graduate internships are organised and subsidised by universities too, so keep an eye on your career hub vacancies page or speak to someone in the careers team and let them know that you’re interested in applying for these kinds of schemes.
Whilst these schemes can be a great way to get your foot in the door of an established company and set you up with training, it’s worth remembering that you aren’t guaranteed a permanent position at the end of the programme, so be ready to look elsewhere.
A Graduate Job is quite simply any position that requires a degree, or a specific degree, as its entry level. Whilst some might be advertised directly at graduates, others will not be so ensure you search widely and research which jobs in your field you are now qualified for.
The benefits of searching for a graduate level job are that you are far more likely to find a permanent position, which is ideal if you’re searching for a long-term role. You will likely have more flexibility in your role as you will not be on a specific programme or schedule but may not receive structured training in the same way as you would on a scheme.
Regardless of what you choose to apply for, ensure that you find out as much as you can at interview stages to make sure this graduate job or scheme is best suited to you.