Understanding thedifference between an entry-level job, a graduate scheme and graduate level jobs is vital if you want to ensure you get thecareer you want.
As a student youprobably feel there is a maze of options open to you as you look at what valueyour degree will have in the market place when you leave University. How do youdecide what it is you want to do? There are so many graduate careersavailable out there, how do you clarify the choices you have ahead of you?
There are some keyquestions you need to start asking yourself – and although some of thesequestions may sound the same they are anything but. First things first – whatwill you do when you graduate from University?
- Get a jobas a graduate?
- Get agraduate job?
- Land aplace on a graduate scheme/graduate training/graduate programme?
- Get an entry-leveljob?
Ok, lets take a closerlook at some of these terms and clarify what they mean – so you can see whatthe real differences are. Let’s start by thinking about exactly what isimportant to you when you graduate:
I want a professionI can only join if I am a Graduate
You most likelyanswered ‘get a graduate job’ or ‘land a place on a graduate scheme’ to thequestion above. You will then be looking at careers where a degree is astandard entry requirement and so need to look at conversion courses or otherroutes to join the profession. On the other hand, you may want to join a largecompany or public sector organisation with a graduate scheme, offering youtraining and development opportunities on the job.
I want a careerwhere I become accredited or chartered, and work towards being admitted to aprofessional body
You have grand designsfor your life and will probably have chosen ‘land a place on a graduate scheme’to the question above. There are lots of graduate schemes, graduate programmesand graduate training programmes available within the UK- and we will bediscussing some of these more in future blog posts.
I want a job thatfeels appropriate for my skills and interests
You most likely choseanswer ‘I want to get a job as a Graduate’ to the question above so you willneed to think carefully and plan accordingly for this step to help you on yourway in your career. You may well get a job that does not require a degree, butyou could use this as a stepping stone to help you to gain experience in yourchosen sector which will help you to progress into a more senior role.
I want anyentry-level job I can get
An entry-level job isa job that is suitable for anyone who has no skills or experience in theirchosen area. A degree may be an advantage in some entry-level jobs, but yourdegree does not have to be relevant to the job and the job may also be open toschool leavers as well.
Getting an entry-leveljob could be a bit of a risky strategy as although it may be nice to be earningmoney straightaway, they may not help you to get the career that you dream of –you don’t want to sell yourself short at the end of the day.
So, you can see,understanding the difference between a graduate job and a graduate scheme isessential to helping you decide what you want to set your sights on and how toplan your job hunt.
What is a graduatescheme then?
A graduate scheme istypically a time-limited training programme which lasts between one and threeyears. It is based on the employer’s template for producing an appropriatelyqualified professional that will fit into their organisation seamlessly. They willbe a highly structured programme consisting of work, in-house training andstudy for an external qualification.
Typically, you willfind graduate schemes in accountancy firms, construction firms and banks. Itmay well be that you rotate through different departments in the same businesson one of these schemes, so that they can discover where you will best fit. Youwill also be likely to have to work towards an accredited qualificationrelating to the professional body for your chosen occupation.
You can be acceptedonto a graduate scheme with a 2:2 degree – depending on the career area.
What is a graduatejob?
A graduate job coversa wider area than a graduate scheme and is the term used to describe jobs whichyou won’t be hired for unless you have an honours degree. Getting a Graduatejob does not mean that you will be enrolled on a structured programme ofprofessional training – it does not have the ‘scheme’ element.
The list of jobs whichare graduate-only tend to be shorter than graduate scheme jobs. They tend toinclude professions such as Doctor, Teacher, Journalist and IT. You can entersome of these roles without a degree, strictly speaking, but generally having adegree is usually an advantage.
Is having a degree aguarantee to a higher salary? Well the Office of Natural Statistics states thatthe average graduate earns £9500 more than the average non-graduate. However,it can take time for a graduate to establish themselves in their career, andtherefore start earning the big bucks. Salaries will also vary across careerniche as well.
What if your firstgraduate job turns out to be a dud?
Don’t be surprised ifyour first graduate job turns out to be something you don’t really want or nota traditional graduate job. Even if you are working in retail or a fast foodrestaurant, you can learn essential skills and valuable lessons that will helpyou to succeed in your future applications. Hereat Jobs4Graduates, we want to make life as easy for you as possible so we haverounded up all of the available graduate jobs, graduate schemes and graduateroles london for you.