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Should I only apply for jobs related to my degree?

If you love your degree subject, you’re no doubt keen to get a job in a related field. However, it’s important to realise that today’s employment market is highly competitive, meaning it’s not always possible for graduates to walk into their preferred roles. If you discover this is the case for you, it’s important to be pragmatic in your approach. The following guide offers pointers to help you find work in your specialist area, and advice on what to do if you can’t.


Hone your search

First and foremost, it’s important to hone your job search. By looking in the right places, you’re more likely to find suitable employment opportunities. For example, if your degree subject is in the fields of science, technology, engineering or maths, you may benefit from perusing the roles advertised by specialist recruitment agencies like STEM Graduates.

By targeting the sectors you want to work in, you can make your search more efficient and you stand a better chance of achieving success.

Apply for multiple opportunities

Also, make sure you apply for multiple opportunities. Waiting around to hear back from each of your applications before you move onto the next can be a recipe for disaster. The fact is, most graduates receive many rejections before they land a suitable role.

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Consider internships

Many employers look for candidates who have practical industry experience when they are taking on members of staff. This can be a catch 22 scenario for graduates, who need firms to give them a role in order to build up this experience. One way around this is to apply for internships. These positions are typically unpaid or very low paid. However, they can help you to get your foot in the door in your target industry.

Be flexible

If you try all of these tactics and still can’t land a role in your specialist field, you may have to change your approach. Of course, you might find you have to start earning money, in which case you have no choice but to take other jobs. Meanwhile, bear in mind that prolonged periods of non-study and work don’t look good on your CV.

Taking a job that’s not related to your degree isn’t the end of the world. After all, it will help you to build up a range of skills that may be relevant to your area of interest. Also, you might find that you actually enjoy the work you get and see potential for career progression. Many people end up doing jobs they did not envisage during their studies, and some find they actually prefer their new directions.

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