Final year students and graduates
Careers help for graduates
Solent offers careers advice for life!
If you are a Solent University graduate you can access all the Solent Futures services that were available to you when you were a student here, including:
- Mock interviews
- CV advice
- Entry to jobs fairs and other events
- Support for your business start up - including funding in some cases
- Access to Solent Futures Online which gives you access to jobs, advice and more.
Life after university
Solent University has produced a guide that gives an overview of how Solent Futures can support you when you have finished your studies. It also has useful advice on starting work, from basics like taxation and reading a payslip, through to where to go for support if you are disabled.
Solent Futures Online
If you are a final-year student you need to log in to Solent Futures Online with your usual Solent log in and password. When you are logged in make sure you edit your profile to include a personal email address - that way you can keep accessing the great jobs we source and online resources like CV builders and interview simulator when you graduate.
If you have trouble logging in email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have never used Solent Futures Online and would like access, please complete this form and we will send you an access link.
Know where to look
Most graduate jobs are advertised via online job boards such as Solent Futures Online or company recruitment web pages. Some professions have specialist sites. Jobs are also increasingly advertised on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
National graduate schemes
It’s never too early to start your job search in your final year as some national graduate schemes have deadlines as early as October. Many (but not all) of these require a minimum of a 2:1 to apply. Some also have a UCAS points minimum requirement.
Work in other regions
Check regional graduate job sites and other university careers services for employment and internships:
- East Anglia - https://uk.jobted.com/jobs-essex
- Midlands - www.graduateadvantage.co.uk
- North East - www.graduatesyorkshire.co.uk
- South West - www.gradsouthwest.com
Using recruitment agencies
Many graduates find work through recruitment agencies. You should approach them in a professional manner, as if you were approaching a company directly for work.
A few points to keep in mind:
- Use the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to identify reliable agencies
- You should not be charged by the agency for finding you work. However, some agencies will charge for training
- Specify what companies you don’t want them to contact, eg, your current employer
- Make sure the agencies you contact are appropriate for your skill level.
To work in most countries in Europe you will not need a work permit and you may have the same rights as their nationals. For other countries you will need to check their individual requirements. To find out more about working abroad and for sources of job opportunities, take a look at:
Make speculative applications
- Use the job sectors section in Prospects, and information on professional association sites to find out about what is going on in your particular area of work.
- Are you considering both private and public sector employers?
- Consider using social media to investigate employers and find 'hidden' opportunities.
- Focus your efforts on the organisations that interest you the most. Ten quality speculative applications will generally yield better results than making 100 general, unfocussed applications.
If you have business start up ideas, or if you have plans to work freelance, take a look at our pages providing information about the enterprise services and support available, including opportunities to pitch for funding from Solent University (up to three years after graduation).
Apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to work and earn while working towards recognised qualifications. Search for opportunities on the GOV.UK apprenticeships pages.
A postgraduate qualification is one that you study for after completing an undergraduate degree. Some postgraduate qualifications require specific first degree subjects. Examples of postgraduate qualifications include: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, Master of Arts, Master of Science, MBA, PhD and Doctorate.
Postgraduate study at Solent University
Solent University offers a range of postgraduate, professional and short courses to further your career. If you are thinking of staying at Solent it is worth taking a look at postgraduate courses and professional courses on the Solent website.
The University offers a fee discount of up to 50% on postgraduate study to Solent graduates. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate or master’s degree classification. To find out more, take a look at University information about the Solent alumni discount.
Searching for postgraduate courses in the UK
There are a number of sites you can use to help you search for postgraduate courses in the UK. These include:
- Findcourses also lists other professional courses.
If you would prefer to study part-time or via distance learning, the Open University offers a wide range of postgraduate distance learning courses, as do many other UK higher education institutions.
There is a postgraduate loan of just over £10,000 available.
Prospects.ac.uk provides detailed advice on studying in many countries. You may want to source additional specialist advice for particular countries. For example, the Fulbright Commission provides detailed information and advice for study in the USA.
You may decide you would like to take some time out to travel and undertake work experience in the UK or abroad. You may just want to have some fun. Whatever you do, make sure you develop skills, abilities and experiences that will enhance your career prospects.
Future employers will expect you to have made good use of your time out. Even if you ‘just travel’ during your gap year, you will develop maturity and independence, increase your self-awareness, and potentially discover new career options too.
Here are some tips and ideas to consider during your time out:
- Consider registering with an employment agency to do temp work.
- Gain voluntary work experience in the UK or abroad.
- Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a popular option. See below for a bit more info about this.
- Don’t get taken advantage of. Research any gap year provider carefully.
- Consider the basics – what, where and when, as well as how much and why.
- A gap year does not have to be abroad and isn’t always a whole year.
- Plan your time carefully to ensure you make the most of it.
- If you are considering working overseas, make sure you check out any visa requirements or work restrictions first.
- Check out the range of gap year ideas and suggestions on prospects.ac.uk.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
With a TEFL qualification you could find work with a language school in the UK or teach English abroad. Some organisations offer exchange teaching programmes. Opportunities can be found in Japan, China, the Far East, Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe, as well as Spain, Italy and Germany. A lot of people use TEFL to fund their gap year travel.
If you are keen to find paid work while you travel, a good starting point for identifying vacancies is the working abroad section on prospects.ac.uk. These articles include information about each country’s job market, and tips on finding work experience, as well as advice about visa and immigration issues.
If you are interested in working your way across the world have a look at www.workaway.info which matches volunteers to hosts.