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There is some debate over whether students’ aspirations meet those that are on the job market. There is great demand over skills for jobs and what graduates expect isn’t always what they will receive. Although salary expectations is on point, with most graduates expecting to earn between £15,000 and £24,999 within the first six months, working life has not proven to be the high road to a great career. Many expect too much when they are fresh out of university but the hard truth is that even after studying for years, there is still a ladder to climb.

Some jobs are too competitive. Take acting for example, the amount of people hoping to make it in this career is high and so having high hopes may end up being a let down. However, this can all depend on how an individual uses their degree to aid their skills.

“I plan to make sure I enter the acting business by putting myself out there and trying my best and putting myself forward for every opportunity available,” said Freya Parr, a student who is attending Falmouth


University in September to study acting. “I’m going to fight. I’m going to get some professional training and then I’m going to delve in head first.”

Getting a job after university can be tough, often it’s hard to understand what all of the money was spent on. Some time ago, tuition fees ceased to exist and after that, they still “only” amounted to £9,000 for three years. Now we pay triple that. Some might ask whether going to university is necessary, the idea of having debts for the rest of your life can be daunting when considering how likely, or unlikely, it is to get a job in your chosen field after graduating. In this day and age, even a degree alone may not be enough to get you your dream job.

Make the right choice

Picking a career choice is hard, some people know instantly what they want to do and others have no idea. There is no point going into a subject at university if you’re unsure about whether it will advance your enthusiasm, especially with the amount of money you will have to pay back at the end. Think about the possible career paths that subjects can have and decide whether they are realistic. Follow your dreams, but don’t go into something that you will not be able to use in employment. If you are passionate about the subject, this will shine through when speaking to employers and will also reflect on how you perform.

Make use of any free time

Depending on the course, university tends to have less contact time than any school or college. Failing that, there is always the summer holidays to make up for it. During this time, consider getting any work experience available. This will stand out to employers and they will want to know more about you than the other 50 people who applied. Work experience shows ambition, it shows that even though you worked hard at university, during your spare time you still breathed the subject you studied. An example of this would be journalism, there are a lot of people wanting to be journalists or wanting to write but being able to show an employer that you have been published or written for other people will show initiative.

Don’t give up

When you’ve finished university and you’re ready to be let loose into the world of business, don’t feel that the first job you have will be the defining one. Everyone has to start from the bottom and works upwards so if you’re not 100% satisfied, don’t feel that there won’t be other opportunities. With UK graduate jobs being highly competitive, it’s easy to feel that you will never reach that point. However, take note of the skills and experience needed for that job and get what you need for it. That way, once your ideas are clear, it will be easier to get the job and there should not be any reason for an employer to turn you down.

Find the right references

Often, making yourself look good can be unnerving but once that part is over, it’s up to your referees to sell you. If an employer is serious about taking you for the job, they are bound to contact people you have chosen to find out more about your work ethic. So make sure you have good relationships with those people and this can definitely tie in with point number 2: if you get the experience and succeed, they will probably be happy to give a reference when you come to get a job. If you’re lucky, those people may even have some contacts for you with job opportunities in your line of work.