What can you do with your degree? Whether you completed a generalist degree such as science, or a vocationally oriented degree such as teaching, you’ll have numerous career options to consider. Take some time to research different career options related to your course before you make any major decisions. You can explore your options by:
- conducting research online
- speaking to people who work in the field you studied
- finding out what graduates who studied a similar course have gone on to do
- attending career events (such as The Big Meet or programs put on by professional associations).
1. Research your degree
Lots of resources provide information about career options related to specific degrees and areas of study. Take a look at the websites listed below to see what career options are possible with your degree and develop a short-list of occupations and / or industries that interest you.
2. Research occupational information
Once you have come up with a short-list of occupations that you are interested in, it’s a good idea to research occupational information to find out more about them. Occupational information includes information about a particular occupation such as:
• typical duties and responsibilities
• the personal requirements for people working in that occupation
• labour market information
• similar occupations
• related courses and professional associations.
Researching occupational information can help you make an informed decision about jobs you are interested in, rather than making decisions on what you think a job involves (which may be incomplete or inaccurate).
Occupational profiles for a range of jobs are available from the following websites:
3. Research industry information
After identifying a few occupations that are of interest, you can now look at which industries you would like to work within.
- Are you interested in working within a specific industry or field (for instance, the not-for-profit sector)?
- Would you prefer to find out about opportunities across different industries?
Either way, there are a number of resources available to help you research career options in all industry areas. Comparing occupational outcomes and salaries across different industries may help you to focus your career goals even further.
Industry information is available at MyFuture.
You can also search for different occupations within an industry using the Job Outlook website.
4. Find out about professional associations
Professional associations provide a range of information and resources about a specific industry or professional area. You can find a professional or industry association for almost every area of employment and most will offer career resources outlining how to enter and develop a career in the area. Professional associations can provide an insight into the industry standards which have been designated as necessary for someone to build a career in that area. These requirements for professional recognition or membership are also a useful tool for you to use in order to check that your degree and experience will meet requirements for future admission to that profession.
You’ll find lists of professional and industry associations at Graduate Careers Australia.
5. Research career options using LinkedIn
You can use LinkedIn to research companies, industries and opportunities that relate to your degree.
If you have a short list of occupations or organisations that you are interested in, try searching for these in the Advanced Search option to see if anyone in your network works in these roles or companies. You can then connect with them to find out more information about their jobs, industry or company by reading their LinkedIn profiles or by arranging an informational interview (see below).
If you don’t have a particular occupation or company that you’re interested in, or are trying to broaden your range of career options, you could start by simply typing your area of study or your interests as keywords in the Advanced Search tool. For example, if you are studying biology, but you’re not sure what kinds of jobs exist related to biology, where they are and what kind of experience you need to get those jobs, type “biology” into the Keyword box in LinkedIn’s Advanced Search tool and you’ll generate a listing of anyone on LinkedIn who has the word “biology” in their LinkedIn profile. Click on the profiles that interest you in the search results and look for job titles that you might want to pursue, employers who hire people with these job titles, and the LinkedIn Groups people belong to when they have similar interests to yours.
You can also use Informational Interviews to research particular jobs.