Where to now? Options after course completion

If you have just finished – or are about to finish – your course, congratulations! It’s always a boon for us to know another student has successfully completed their studies. Have you decided what you’re going to do now? Some of you may be ready to enter the workforce.

And some may already be working in a course-relevant field. For those of you who have no idea what your next steps will be, don’t fret, you’re not alone. It can be a difficult decision, so we have written this brief guide to help you make up your mind.

Sleep in for a while

Many people who have just finished a course – particularly when it’s a difficult or long one – decide they’d like to just enjoy a break. Whether this is a week at home or a year travelling the world, you have earned it, so why not? Just be sure you have the finances to cover you for longer than you planned, just in case you don’t immediately find work when you do decide to get back into it all.

It’s off to work we go

The majority of student who complete their course, go on to enter the workforce (if they aren’t already there) in the field that they studied in, or a closely related one. While many people easily find employment in their niche, sometimes it’s not so easy – particularly if the field you’d like to enter is flooded with similarly qualified applicants or it’s a rare field that doesn’t have many open positions.

Start by considering what you want out of a job. Do you want a particular salary level? A workplace close to home? Part time or full time work? Write your desires down and start looking for jobs that meet all your criteria, only branching out if you cannot find any that meet it. A career counselor is a good option for those who haven’t had a lot of job seeking experience, or check out our many resources for assisting jobseekers. Similarly, why not ask your tutor or fellow students if they can give you recommendations or help you to meet industry contacts.

To ensure you know what your employment options are, a multifaceted approach is best. Sign up to large job-seeking sites (and don’t forget the Government ones, if you think your qualifications can lead you to a Government job) and apply for as many jobs in your field as you can, so that you’ll have a broad choice of salaries and companies. If your industry has an industry resource organization, sign up and start attending industry events and communicating with relevant connections. Don’t lose hope if you don’t find employment quickly – these things take time and with persistence, you’ll be working in your dream job before you know it!

Volunteer to win

Regardless of how well you did in your studies, your chances of scoring that dream job will improve dramatically if you have real-world experience in the field. Because of this, you might choose to gain some work experience – either before or after you complete your course – in order to learn the ropes and give yourself the cutting edge over other applicants. Your course might qualify you for some form of practical experience, or you could opt for an internship or part time position. These will allow you to gain experience, but also, you’ll be able to gauge how much you like working in the field of your choosing and which sector you fit into the most. Further, you’ll likely be able to connect with a few beneficial industry kingpins who may come in handy in the future!

Pick the books back up

Whether by design or choice, you might need to (or decide to) pursue further study. Some qualifications can only get you so far and you might want to broaden your horizons in order to have something to fall back on. Others are only stepping stones required to complete a postgraduate degree. Alternatively, you may have completed a small skill set course and want to try others, or you might just simply change your mind! Whatever your reasons, there’s no doubt that further study will benefit you in the long run. Just make sure you take the time in between courses to recuperate that clever brain of yours!

The CFS Team
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