This was the fourth most popular question asked of our Humanities and Social Science graduates at the August Careers in Focus session. Based on our graduates’ stories it comes back to that old chestnut, “it depends”. Sorry to whip that out again so soon. But how long it takes to land the job that “relates” to your area of study does depend on factors such as:
- your own plans. What you actually want to do
- your values and how you define success
- your networks
- the context and circumstances you live in
- what you did while (or before) you were studying. Part time work, summer work, internships
- your approach to job-hunting. How you package and communicate your employability factors
- your idea of what “relates” to your area of study – how prepared you are to do something you hadn’t planned. How experimental can you be?
Note that I didn’t list “what degree you did” just yet. This is because it shouldn’t be and isn’t the primary influence on how soon you get a job. Sure, competition may be fierce for some roles while there are skill shortages in others. and yes, some qualifications are more vocational and industry-based than others. But the job market is changing radically and what is hotly in demand today may not be in a few months’ time. However, there are certain technical and generic skills that you have developed or are well placed to learn (i.e. you are the raw material), and this could be something you could develop or add to while searching for that job. For example find out the top skills to ready you for exponential change and where you could learn these.
The 2015/16 Graduate Survey Report for Victoria University, which follows up at least six months after graduation found that 94% of respondents were either working full-time, studying full-time, or working and/or studying part-time. That work can be in a seemingly “different” area to where you expected to work, but like the Philosophy graduates in our latest Career View, you may find your way into really interesting roles, even before completing your qualification! Or initially in a support role with the organisation of your dreams, where you learn everything about the business and build up a network of contacts in that sector.
So take heart and remember if you are feeling stuck, come and see us at Careers and Employment. We work with you after you have graduated as well as while you study with us!