This post originally appeared on the Discover UCL blog
“I should know what job I want to have before I go to university”
University is the perfect time to investigate different careers, to see which one fits you best. Don’t worry, but take the time to explore different options, get some work experience and discover a career that you would like to follow.
“My career will be directly related to my degree”
Many people take the skills that they learn on their degree to move into something completely different. Even if you take a vocational degree, you will still learn transferable skills in communication, problem solving and research, which will enable you to work in a wide variety of different jobs.
“The best jobs are the ones where you earn the most money”
Some graduates feel pressured to go into the career that they think will earn them the most money. Careers with high salaries are often extremely pressurised, with long hours and lots of stress. Working out what you actually want from your career, and finding a job that provides a good quality of life, can be much more important for your happiness than a high salary.
“You can’t become a lawyer without a law degree”
You can apply to study for a GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) if you are a graduate from any subject. Many law firms actually prefer students to take a different degree before studying for the GDL as they believe that it makes candidates more well-rounded individuals.
“You can only work in healthcare by becoming a doctor”
There are lots of jobs in healthcare, many of which do not even require a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) degree. Instead of studying to become a doctor, you could choose to become a physiotherapist, a paramedic or a clinical psychologist. Most of these careers require a specific degree, but it is often possible to retrain in one of these areas after completing a degree in a different area. In addition, there are many jobs available for arts, humanities and social sciences graduates, such as speech and language therapist, counsellor, arts and music therapist, or healthcare manager.
“You can’t work in finance with a humanities degree”
Humanities graduates are often great candidates for jobs in the financial sector as they have excellent communication skills and research abilities. You will also need to have good numeracy skills (e.g. A level Mathematics) and may have to undergo some postgraduate training.
“Arts graduates are less employable than STEM graduates”
Although it might seem like there are more well-paid careers available in STEM areas, in fact graduates from both types of degree are likely to find well-paid and rewarding careers. It’s important not to study a subject just because you think it’s more likely to bring benefits in the future; focus on what you find interesting and enjoyable, and look for careers that incorporate these elements.
For help to Find your Future, visit UCL Careers: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers