Expand your horizons
In order to make an informed choice about your future, it’s important to explore all the options and opportunities available to you.
Whether your dream is to work overseas, launch your own business or progress to postgraduate study, we’ll help you research your choices and give you the tools and resources you need to choose the right path for your next career step.
Explore roles and sectors
Unsure what job is right for you?
Researching different roles and sectors can help you narrow down your search and get a better understanding of your options. Online job profiles and sector guides are a great tool to give you a realistic idea of what a job entails.
Find out more about graduate schemes
Graduates schemes are typically offered by big organisations such as the Civil Service, PwC and the NHS offering graduates fixed term (18 months – 2 years) opportunities to work and train in a real job. They are well-paid and competitive, and many require a 2:1 or above. Applications tend to open in autumn until December. Check out MyFuture for details.
Interested in postgraduate study?
If you want to pursue your passion for a subject, boost your chances of breaking into a particular sector or pivot into a specialism, you might be considering postgraduate study. Investigate your course options, paying attention to course content, any work experience or practical elements and graduate destinations. Also consider what funding is available and make a note of the application closing date as these can vary from course to course.
The Prospects site has some useful articles to help you assess whether postgraduate study is right for you or you can book a consultation with one or our Careers Team for impartial advice and guidance.
If you are considering staying at Queen’s for your postgraduate studies, take the opportunity to talk to relevant staff and attend information sessions and open day events.
Further study abroad
Planning to study abroad?
You may want to continue your studies further afield in Europe, the USA, Canada or Australia. There is a wealth of exciting opportunities out there, but it’s important to think practically about cost and commitment, and to plan well in advance. There are funding opportunities available, but competition is fierce, so get a good funding application in early, paying attention to deadlines. If you are undertaking a Master’s in an Erasmus country, you may be able to apply for a loan through the Erasmus+ site.
If you are thinking about further study abroad, start the planning process in your second year (or in third year for a four-year course).
This blog on the best postgraduate search sites has useful resources on study abroad options in Canada, the USA and around the world.
Starting your own business
Have a big idea that you want to make happen?
We encourage and support innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise. Enterprise SU offer a range of support for students and graduates who have ideas they want to grow into a business. Entrepreneurial programmes including InnovateHer and the Belfast Enterprise Academy have helped past students bring their ideas to market – both these programmes come with the added bonus of DegreePlus accreditation.
Get into teaching
Find out more about a career in teaching
A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is postgraduate teaching training at either primary or secondary level. If you are interested in pursuing a career in teaching, it’s important to gain experience of working with young people (through youth or voluntary work, and working with our Widening Participation Unit). You can get an insight into what it takes to be a teacher by arranging some classroom observation experience, either through personal contacts or approaching a local school speculatively).
Discover Volunteering Opportunities
“The Homework Club initiative offers a fantastic opportunity to volunteer in the local community. I have developed my communication skills and provided a positive influence on the lives of the children who attend.”
Chloe Buckley, LLB Law, Homework Club Volunteer
Homework Clubs programme allows you to volunteer with children and young people who are struggling at school. You’ll receive induction training and boost your CV with the added bonus of our Degree Plus award. Watch the video to find out more.
Teaching English Overseas
Gain experience working abroad
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TESOL) is a great way to incorporate working abroad and gaining work experience, especially if you wish to pursue a teaching career. However, teaching abroad experience will equip you with lots of transferable skills you can take into other sectors. Introductory or taster courses, suitable for summer jobs abroad or to sample the training before progressing to an accredited qualification.
Taking a year out
Considering a gap year?
Some students decide to take a year out or ‘gap year’ after graduation and before entering the workplace to travel, earn money, gain work experience, to take a break or to get some time and space to think about the next career step. Whether you choose independent travel, charity volunteering or working abroad, think about what you want to gain from the time out and how that fits with your long-term career goals. A gap year can demonstrate initiative and resourcefulness to future employers but you need to frame it as time well spent. A work experience tracker is a useful tool for reflecting back on what you learned.