Skip to Content

Explore your options as a graduate

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.

students working whilst wearing hard hats
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.

Explore your options - graduate schemes
Graduate schemes

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.

Blog: All you need to know about graduate training schemes

students sitting in a work environment
Internships and placements

What are internships?

Graduate internships are short-term paid opportunities offering work experience in a company or organisation. Search ‘internship’ in MyFuture to find current opportunities.

Blog: Where to find a graduate internship

Student chatting with a tutor at a desk
Further study

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.

Blog: 11 Essential Sites to Check Out if you are Considering Postgraduate Study

Student looking over a view of a town
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. 

Students outside a business
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.

Blog: Six sites to check out if you want to launch your own business

Teacher with a classroom full of young students
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).

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

volunteers helping to carry supplies
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.

Blog: 5 Essential resources if you are considering a gap year