Proven Ways for Finding a Job After Graduate School
02/04/2019 by HIGHERGRAD
Finishing graduate school is a big deal. It takes years of commitment, hard work, long hours, and a dedication to learning. You are done. Finally! After a few seconds of excitement and relief, another challenge quickly begins to swiftly emerge. Finding a job after grad school is more difficult than simply finding a job. You need to exploit your knowledge and years of graduate school experience to land employment after grad school.
Let's start by discussing general career paths. Life after a masters degree may lead you towards a Ph.D. or other doctoral program. In that case, you want to begin your preparation as soon as possible in your masters program. This will ensure you know the requirements of any doctoral program including the application deadlines, admissions requirements, and future job opportunities. On the other hand, you may just be looking at finding a job after your master's degree. In that case, here are proven strategies to find a job after grad school.
Leverage Your Graduate School Professional Network
One proven strategy on how to get a job after graduation is to grow and utilize your professional network. Your professional network is one of the biggest advantages of going to graduate school. Those extra years in college allow you to meet other professionals in your field of study, other graduate students who will become leaders in industry and also promote your own brand through conferences and classes. In many cases, finding a job after grad school is made easier when your professional network is strong.
Employment after grad school is hard enough to navigate but what many do not know is that there are job opportunities that are never advertised anywhere. The only way you find out about these open positions is by talking with people in your network. Networking is more than have 500+ LinkedIn connections, although that doesn't hurt. Rather, you want to build a strong network of 10-20 professionals and peers in your field. These should be leaders and future leaders in your field that are willing to help you get started with life after a masters degree. Staying engaged with your network and showing your desire and work ethic will only help you with finding a job after your master's degree.
Attend Job Fairs at Colleges and Universities
Job fairs are probably the most underrated ways to find a job after grad school. At most colleges and universities, job fairs are happening throughout the year but really ramps up around graduation. There are job fairs for specific areas like business and also more general job fairs where all kinds of companies and employers show up. Each one is worth checking out as a strategy for finding employment after grad school.
There are many reasons to pursue graduate studies. First and foremost is finding a great job. However, your first job out of grad school may be less than perfect and more of a stepping stone to get your foot in the door of a company or a profession. Job fairs are great places to explore different opportunities that are out there and start applying for jobs.
Websites for Finding a Job After Grad School
Searching for jobs on the internet is becoming common practice and the first place many job seekers go to find a job. Many websites offer very similar products in terms of job hunting. You can search by job title, company, and location to name a few. Some more specific job search websites narrow down job postings to a particular field or education level. What they all have in common, however, is an easy way to search through lots of available jobs quickly.
One tip for finding a job after grad school using job posting websites is to use them to find an opportunity but then seek out the company's website to apply directly. Certainly, most of these job listing sites allow you to upload a resume or directly apply to the position. The trick is often the company either looks at their own job application system first or it takes them an extra step to retrieve the applications from a third-party website. Start with finding a job through one of these three websites below then go to the actual company website, find their job board, and apply directly with them for that position.
First Job Out of Grad School Does Not Have to Be Your Career
Generally speaking, the job market is competitive for recent grads. Your mentally thus has to change from looking for your dream job to building your career in many instances. Finding a job after grad school means different things to different people. Many recent grads are idealists looking for their perfect job as their first job. It is unlikely, however, your first job out of grad school will be your career job.
It is ok to search for your dream job and even more so to apply for it if you are lucky enough to find it. In fact, you should be applying for any job that interests you and you qualify for. The most important aspect of job hunting after getting your graduate degree is getting experience. You want to seek out jobs that will provide you with experience that you can leverage for getting that dream job down the road.
Be willing to except an entry-level job even if you just finished your MBA degree. Experience on your resume will speak much louder to a future employer than just your graduate degree alone. Get that first job then use that to get another job and continue applying for and getting better jobs until you are satisfied with your career trajectory.
Research and Prepare for Each Job Opportunity
As described above, you may not find your career in the first job out of graduate school. Also, sometimes you have to work a few different jobs until you realize exactly what excites you and what you are passionate about. However, each job opportunity should be taken seriously. Spend time researching the job, the company and the leadership. Learn all you can before that first interview. It will make you much more confident and also much more competent in the interview. Interviews are stressful and hard. The more prepared you are the better you will do and ultimately the more likely you will be to get the job.
The Best Jobs After Graduate School Are Always Out There
A misconception many graduate students think is that you can't start applying for jobs until you have your graduate degree in hand. Incorrect. In reality, finding a job after grad school should start on the first day of graduate school. The best jobs are being posted every day and you have to be prepared to apply for them as they become available.
Jobs are being posted each and every day. You do not want to miss an opportunity simply because you think you can’t apply because you do not have a completed degree. Some positions require a completed graduate degree as part of employment and in those cases, there is not much you can do. Although, many employers welcome applicants who are still working on a degree. It gives them first crack at future talent. It also gives them a chance to retain the best talent.
In addition, some employers have a tuition assistance program, which can help you pay for graduate school. In exchange for working with an employer either full or part-time and/or committing to working for them after graduate school, the employer may provide tuition assistance. It is a win-win for all parties involved. These are just some reasons why you should be looking for and applying for jobs while working on your graduate degree. Also, it takes time to find a job, apply for it, go through the interview process and get hired. If you wait till you graduate, you may be looking at six months or longer until you start making money, which for most is not feasible.
Finding a job after grad school can be harder than actually completing your degree. Remember that you should start looking for jobs early and often using job fairs and job listing websites and also be willing to accept a less than ideal first job as a stepping stone to building your career. The best jobs after graduate school are competitive but with the right strategies you can get a leg up on the competition.